Skip to main content

Full text of "Report of the Committee of ten on secondary school studies;"

See other formats












Rep. Com. 10 
M. 2 




The Eeport of the Committee -of Ten on Secondary School 
Studies is now generally known among the leading educators of the 
country, and, while there is much diversity of opinion respecting 
many of its recommendations, there is substantial agreement that 
it is the most important educational document ever issued in 
the United States. 

Prepared under the auspices of the National Educational As- 
sociation, this Eeport was first published by the Bureau of Educa- 
tion, at Washington, and distributed at public expense to the 
extent of the funds available for that purpose. In spite of this 
liberal distribution, many thousands of instructors and educators 
could not receive a copy from that source. 

In view of the importance of the Eeport, and the increasing 
demand for copies, the National Educational Association has 
arranged with the American Book Company to print and publish 
another edition, and to furnish it at a nominal price, that its 
beneficial influence may be extended still more widely. 

In issuing the new edition, it has been thought best to make 
certain improvements in the make-up of the book, and to insert 
an Analytical and Topical Index, by which convenient and in- 
stant reference may be had to any subject mentioned in the 
Eeport of the Committee, or in those of the nine conferences. 


Friends of the Association may be interested to know that 
any profit which may be derived from the sale of the Eeport in 
this form, will accrue to the benefit of the Association, and re- 
imburse, in part, the very considerable expense involved in its 


Chairman of Board of Trustees, of 
National Educational Association. 


Eeport of the Committee of Ten 3 

Origin of the Conferences 3 

Members of the Committee 'of Ten 4 

Subjects of the Conferences 5 

List of Eleven Questions 6 

Places of holding Conferences 7 

Members of the Nine Conferences . .. 8 

Composition of Conferences 11 

Program for Twelve Years' Course 34- 

Program for High Schools 37 - 

Classical Program for High Schools 41 

Minority Report of President Baker 56 

Report of Latin Conference 60 

Report of Greek Conference 70 

^ Report of English Conference (Sy 

"-Report of .Other Modern Languages Conference 96 

Report of Mathematics Conference 104 

Report of Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy Conference 117 

Minority Report of W. J. Waggoner 123 

Minority Report of Alfred P. Gage 123 

Report of the Committee on Experiments 124 

Report of Natural History Conference 138 

Nature Study for Grades below the High School 142 



Botany for Common Schools 151 

Zoology for Secondary Schools 154 

Physiology in Primary and Secondary Schools 158 

Report of History, Civil Government, and Political Economy Con- 
ference 162. 

Appendix to Report of History, Civil Government, and Political Econ- 
omy Conference 202 

Report of Geography Conference 204 

Minority Report of Edwin J. Houston 237 



BOTANY, result of first four years' work, 148 of first six years' work, 
150. ENGLISH, objects of teaching, 86 formal grammar, 89. GEOGRAPHY, 
as mental discipline, 214 observational purpose of, 211. GEOMETRY, pur- 
pose of, 115. GERMAN AND FRENCH in grammar schools, 99 German or 
French in high schools, 99. GREEK, grammatical knowledge not an end, 82 
purpose of study, 83. HISTORY, aim of teaching, 164, 168, 169, 170 
examinations in, for college entrance, 165. LATIN, purpose of study, 61, 62. 
MATHEMATICS, discipline of, 114. MODERN LANGUAGES, educational value 
of, 96. NATURAL HISTORY, object of, in lowest grades, 139 nature study 
in primary schools, objects of, 142 results of first two years' work, 146. 
PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, rediscovery of laws not the aim, 118. PHYSIOLOGY 
as personal help, 159. PRODUCTIVE ABILITY, the great end of education is to 
create, 213. ZOOLOGY as means of discipline, intellectual growth, broad 
culture, 158. 


ARITHMETIC, abuse of text-books, 108. BOTANY, text-books in, defec- 
tive in certain respects, 205. ENGLISH, Trench " On the Study of Words" 
recommended, 92. GEOGRAPHY, libraries for, 217 photographs and lan- 
tern slides, 218 simply memorizing from text-books should be avoided, 
219 illustrative material, 223, 224 maps, 213, 217 relief maps, 219. 
GREEK, recommendations as to text-books, 77. HISTORY, text-books used in 
third year, 164 collection of reference-books, 165 text-books, dry and 
lifeless instruction by, 167, 184 libraries for teaching, 184 text-books, 
188 criteria of a good text-book, 189 parallel text-books: sets of books, 
189 material for reading: school libraries, reference-books, 193 historical 
novels, 194 wall-maps and atlases, 199. LATIN, Cato Major, 63 man- 
uals of composition discouraged, 63 Gradatim, Eutropius, and the Viri 
Romas recommended as easy reading, 64 Bucolics not recommended, 64 
Froude's Caesar, Forsyth's Cicero, Trollope's Cicero, Sellar's Virgil, and 
AVilkins's Primer of Roman Literature recommended, 73. NATURE STUDY, 



materials, 143 physical science, study of books and phenomena compared, 
119. PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, one-half time to text-book, 118 chemistry 
and physics, study of text-books without laboratory work of little value, 
119 physics and chemistry, more abundant material for former, 122 
chemistry, text-books in, 137. READING-BOOK may be discarded at the be- 
ginning of the seventh year, 89. WEATHER-MAPS, 207. ZOOLOGY, text-books 
in, defective in certain respects, 205. 


Seventh Question : ' ' Should the subject be treated differently for pu- 
pils who are going to college, for those who are going to a scientific 
school, and for those who, presumably, are going to neither ? " 

ANSWERED UNANIMOUSLY in the negative by all the conferences, 17. 
BAD FOR ALL classes of pupils, 173. ENGLISH conference, specific answer 
to seventh question, 93. HISTORY, instruction precisely the same for all 
pupils, 165, 167, 203. MODERN LANGUAGES, conference on, 98. NATURAL 
HISTORY conference, differentiation unwise, 141. PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, AND 
ASTRONOMY, no difference in treatment for those not going to college, 118. 


AVERAGE AGE of admission lowered, 14. ASTRONOMY not required, 
118. C)LOSE ARTICULATION with high schools, 53. ENGLISH, requirements in, 
should be made uniform in kind, 93 recommendations for admission, 93 
admission, essays to be on the main subjects, 94 English should be a 
"final" subject, 95. GEOGRAPHY, examinations in, for admission, 234 
field-work in geography, 236. GEOMETRY, admission to solid and plane, 
116. GREEK, admission sight examinations, 80 examinations in grammar 
upon text, 80 Greek composition, 81. HISTORY, examinations for en- 
trance, 165 work done in preparatory school taken as evidence, 165 
colleges, relations with lower schools, 167 cram for entrance, 171 
" Whatever improves the schools must improve the college," 174 regular 
written tests accepted as evidence, 184 a "final" subject, 185. LATIN, 
standard of admission raised in point of quality, 60 translation at sight, 
74. MODERN LANGUAGES, admission to, 99, 102. NATURAL HISTORY, en- 
trance and final examinations, 141 superiority of laboratory test to 
written examination, 140 natural science and history, habits of study 
painfully acquired by students, 15. PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY required, 118 
admission, laboratory work as a test, 118 certificates from approved 
schools the ideal method, 118. 


ARITHMETIC AND PHYSICS, 109, 111 mathematical knowledge necessary 
to physics, 119. BOTANY, careful examination of, specimens best secured 
by careful sketching, 152. ENGLISH, relation of, to all studies, 87 formal 
grammar not a necessity to the use of good English, 89 English, history, 


and geography, 91 and other languages, 92 every subject should help 
every other, 16. GEOGRAPHY, relations of history and natural sciences to, 
205, 219 geography, meteorology, and geology, relations of, 205, 206, 207^ 
208 relation to all modes of expression, 219 geography and drawing, 220 
elementary geography identical with elementary science, 239. GEOM- 
ETRY, drawing and modeling, 111 concrete geometry, relation to draw- 
ing, modeling, and arithmetic, 24. GREEK, geography, history, my- 
thology, antiquities, 80. HISTORY, intimately connected with English, 
ancient and modern languages, topography, political, historical, and com- 
mercial geography, and the drawing of historical maps, 164 history and 
civil government, 165 history and English, 172, 195 inter-relation of sub- 
jects, 176 history and ethics, 180, 186 history and literature, 190, 193 
history and geography, 199. MODERN LANGUAGES and English, 96. NA- 
TURE STUDY correlated with language,- literature, drawing, and all other 
modes of expression, 139 natural history, careful, drawings and good 
language in, 140 nature study, coordination with modes of expression, 
144 relation to geography and arithmetic, 145 plant study related to 
geography, meteorology, zoology, anthropology, 143 nature studies the best 
means of teaching reading and writing, 221 natural science as means of 
teaching language, 240 natural sciences, geography and drawing, 49 
physical science introduced by the study of geography, 240. POLITICAL 
ECONOMY related to U. S. history, civil government, and commercial geog- 
raphy, 165. SPELLING learned incidentally in combination with the subject 
studied, and not from a spelling-book, 88. SUBJECTS, interlacing of, 24. 


ALGEBRA, systematic study of, in high schools, 106 special report on, 
111. ARITHMETIC, course to be abridged and enriched, 105 commercial 
arithmetic discussed, 107. BOTANY preferred to zoology in high schools, 
139 botany and zoology, suggestions for courses of study, 140 plants, 
study to be continued throughout the year, 145 botany, course of study in 
first and second grades, 145 third and fourth grades, 146 fifth and sixth 
grades, 148 seventh and eighth grades, 150 for common schools, dis- 
cussion and course of work, 151 year of work in, should be continuous, 
153. CHEMISTRY, experiments in, 127. ENGLISH, elementary course of 
study, 87, 88 formal grammar, 88 English in high schools, 90 rhetoric 
in high schools, 90 English language, history of, not recommended for high 
schools, 91 phonetics, 91. FRENCH OR GERMAN in 'grammar schools, 96 
modern languages, 97 German or French in grammar schools, 99 Ger- 
man and French in high schools, 99. GEOGRAPHY, order of subjects, 241 
physical geography, arrangement of topics, 242 physical geography 
analyzed, 246 geographic subjects, natural order of, 209. GEOMETRY, 
concrete, in grammar schools, 106 demonstrative geometry, 112. GREEK, 
time of study, 77. HISTORY, subjects included in an eight years' course, 
162 courses of study suggested, 162 oral instruction in biography and 
mythology, 164 uniform programs not recommended, 167 time to begin: 


question of consecutive study, 170 topics for intensive study, 177. LATIN, 
age of beginning, 60, 61 time of study, 61. PHYSICAL SCIENCE, natural 
phenomena, study of, in elementary schools, 117 in elementary schools, 
one period per day, 117 nature studies, one-quarter of the time in high 
schools given to, 123 natural history in primary schools should begin in 
kindergarten and lowest grades, 138, 139 nature studies one hour per 
week throughout the whole course below high school, 139 one-fourth of 
time in high school devoted to, 141 experiments in physics in high schools, 
125 chemistry to precede physics, 200 hours to each, 117, 118 minority 
report, physics before chemistry, 121. POLITICAL ECONOMY discussed, 181. 
PHYSIOLOGY in later years of high school course, 138. ZOOLOGY for sec- 
ondary schools, 154 dissection should be postponed, 154. 


GREEK, sight examinations, 80 examinations in grammar upon text- 
books, 80. HISTORY, purpose of examinations in, 183. NATURAL HISTORY, 
entrance and final examinations for college, 141. ORAL OR WRITTEN, 120. 
TRANSLATIONS at sight, 62. 


ALGEBRA, systematic study of, in, 106. BOTANY preferred to zoology 
in, 139 morphology, comparative, in, 140 botany and zoology suggestions 
for courses of study, 140. CHEMISTRY to precede physics, 200 hours to each, 
117, 118 physical science, secondary education that ignores the study of 
nature highly objectionable, 119 minority report, physics before chem- 
istry, 120 experiments in physics, 125 experiments in chemistry, 127 
nature studies, one-quarter of the time to, 123 three-fifths of the time 
employed in laboratory work, 139 one-fourth of the time devoted to, 141. 
ENGLISH, 90 rhetoric, 90. HISTORY, course of study, 163 topics for in- 
tensive study, 163. METEOROLOGY, high school course in, 231. MODERN 
LANGUAGES, 97. PHYSIOLOGY in later years of high school course, 138. 
POLITICAL ECONOMY, no formal instruction in, 165. No PREPARATION for 
high school in botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, out- 
side of arithmetic, 15. SECONDARY SCHOOLS do not exist for college prepa- 
ration, 51. ZOOLOGY, coursToTstudy in, 154 time for study, 154. 


CHEMISTRY, experiments in, 127 physics and chemistry, one-half time 
to laboratory work, 118 importance of laboratory work : loose work harm- 
ful, 119 value of keeping records, 119 physical experiments in elementary 
schools, 116 physics and chemistry, more abundant material for former, 
122 experiments in physics in high school, 125. Civics, .field studies 
in, 181. GEOGRAPHY, excursions, 212 materials for, 215. GEOLOGICAL 
field-work, 223. HISTORY, as a laboratory science, 169 field excursions, 
181, 198. NATURE STUDIES, three-fifths of time employed in laboratory 


work, 139 materials, 143 natural science and geography, field-work, 59 
natural history must consist largely of laboratory work, 139 laboratory 
tests, superiority of, over written examinations, 140. 


ARITHMETIC, radical change in the teaching of, 23, 105 metric system 
to be taught by actual measurements, 105 method of teaching, should be, 
throughout, objective, 105 text-books subordinate to the living teacher, 
105 rules should be taught inductively at the end of the subject, 105. 
ASTRONOMY by observation, 118. ENGLISH, elementary study, 87 composi- 
tion writing criticised, 88 bad English, correction of, not recommended, 
94. GERMAN AND FRENCH, methods of teaching, translation at sight, 100 
modern languages, method of instruction, 100, 101, 102. GEOGRAPHY, 
methods of presentation, 216 topical recitation, 219 methods in lowest 
grades, 220 map drawing, 221 geography, methods in grammar grades, 
222. GEOMETRY, demonstrative, 113 oral exercises in, 24 in grammar 
grades, 110. GREEK, inductive method criticised, 82 translation at sight, 
83 first translation in the order of the original, 84 translation at sight, 19, 
62. HISTORY, topical method recommended, 164 lectures, 188 written 
work in, 194 debates as a means of teaching, 198 illustrative methods, 
pictures, 197 devices for teaching, 191 better omit, than teach in the 
old-fashioned way, 189 historical teaching, methods of, 185. LATIN, com- 
position limited to text read, 63 sounds, 66, 67 reading aloud, 68 under- 
standing at sight, 71 caution as to inductive method, 75. METEOROLOGY, 
227. NATURAL HISTORY, observational study with specimens in the hands 
of each pupil, 141 children must study the plant as a whole, and as a liv- 
ing organism, 142, 143 nature study, 143 guide to, 144. PHYSICS AND 
CHEMISTRY, re-discovery of laws not the aim, 118 scientific method im- 
portant, 119. PHYSIOGRAPHY, methods in, 223. 


BOTANY for primary schools, central thought, care and protection, 145. 
ENGLISH, purpose of, 87. FRENCH AND GERMAN, reason for introducing, into 
grammar schools, 96. GEOGRAPHY, general elementary, applied, physical 
geography and physiography, meteorology, geology, 204-209 physiog- 
raphy defined, 206 geography, order of observational and representative, 
descriptive, and rational, 211-214 as mental discipline, 214. GREEK 
COMPOSITION, 79 Homer, 78. HISTORY, 175 intensive study of eight 
years' course, 176 glib recitations devoid of thought, 190. LATIN, quality 
versus quantity, 62 cramming mode useless, 62 writing of, 62 undue 
prominence of rules, 65. YOUNG CHILDREN cannot generalize, 143. 


CHEMISTRY to precede physics, 117. GEOGRAPHY, relations of, 204 
physiography, objections to the term in minority report, 244. GREEK, Latin 


should precede, 77. HISTORY, relative value, 168. PHYSICAL SCIENCE, 
secondary education that ignores the study of nature highly objectionable, 
119 relations of science, history, and geography to Latin, Greek, and 
mathematics, 13. PHYSIOLOGY, relation to other studies, 158. 


PHYSICAL SCIENCE, special teachers of, 117 special science superin- 
tendents, 119. SUPERINTENDENTS and principals should be teachers of 
teachers, 54. 



ENGLISH, special teachers of, 90. GEOGRAPHY, selection of new teachers, 
217. GREEK, poor teaching of, 78. HISTORY, teachers of, 164 teaching 
by rote from text-books in grammar schools, 185 training of teachers, 186, 
187 special teachers, 187. LATIN, teaching of, by untrained teachers, 64. 
MODERN LANGUAGES, preparation of teachers, 103. NORMAL SCHOOLS and 
colleges should supply better trained teachers, 18 normal schools should 
be better equipped, 54. PHYSICAL SCIENCE, necessity for intelligent teachers 
in, 119. PHYSIOLOGY, qualifications of teachers for, 161. SUMMER SCHOOLS, 
54. TRAINED TEACHERS necessary, 18 teachers in elementary schools ill- 
prepared, 25 need of more highly trained teachers, 53 attitude of 
teacher's mind, 70 colleges and universities should assist in training 
teachers, 54 universities should establish training courses, 187. 




The Committee of Ten appointed at the meeting of the 
National Educational Association at Saratoga on the 9th of 
July, 1892, have the honor to present the following report : 

At the meeting of the Na^onal Council of Education in 1891, 
a Committee appointed at a previous meeting made a valuable 
report through their Chairman, Mr. James H. Baker, then 
Principal of the Denver High School, ^n the general subject of 
uniformity in school programmes and in requirements for 
admission to college.) The Committee was continued, and 
was authorized to procure a Conference on the subject of uni- 
formity during the meeting of the National Council in 1892, 
the Conference to consist of representatives of leading colleges 
and secondary schools in different parts of the country. This 
Conference was duly summoned, and held meetings at Saratoga 
on July 7th, 8th, and 9th, 1892. There were present between 
twenty and thirty delegates. Their discussions took a wide 
range, but resulted in the following specific recommendations, 
which the Conference sent to the National Council of Education 
then in session. 

1. That it is expedient to hold a conference of schopl and 
college teachers of each principal subject which enters into the 
programmes of secondary schools in the United States and 
into the requirements for admission to college as, for example, 
of Latin, of geometry, or of American history each confer- 
ence to consider the proper limits of its subject, the best 
niethods_ of instruction , the most desirable aTl^tmentof_time 
for the subject, and the best methods of testing the pupils' 
attainmeiits_Jherein, and each conference to represent fairly 
the different parts of the country. 

2. That a Committee be appointed with authority to select 
the members of these conferences and to arrange their meetings, 
',he results^ of all the conferences to be reported to this Com- 
mittee for such action as it may deem appropriate, and to form 


the basis of a report to be presented to the Council by this 

3. That this Committee consist of the following gentlemen : 

CHARLES W. ELIOT, President of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 


WILLIAM T. HARRIS, Commissioner of Education, Washington, D. C. 
JAMES B. ANGELL, President of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 

JOHN TETLOW, Head Master of the Girls 1 High School and the Girls' 

Latin School, Boston, Mass. 

JAMES M. TAYLOR, President of Vassar' College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 
OSCAR D. ROBINSON, Principal of the High School, Albany, N. Y. 
JAMES II. BAKER, President of the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo. 
RICHARD H. JESSE, President of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 
JAMES C. MACKENZIE, Head Master of the Lawrenceville School, Law- 

renceville, N. J. 
HENRY C. KING, Professor in Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. 

These recommendations of the Conference were adopted by 
the National Council of Education on the 9th of July , and the 
Council communicated the recommendations to the Directors ox 
the National Educational Association, with the further recom- 
mendation that an appropriation not exceeding $2500 be made 
by the Association towards the expenses of these conferences. 
On the 12th of July the Directors adopted a series of resolutions 
under which a sum not exceeding $2500 was made available 
for this undertaking during the academic year 189293. 

Every gentleman named on the above Committee of Ten 
accepted his appointment ; and the Committee met, with every 
member present, at Columbia College, New York City, from 
the 9th to the llth of November, 1892, inclusive. 

In preparation for this meeting, a table had beon prepared 
by means of a prolonged correspondence with the principals of 
selected secondary schools in various parts of the country, 
which showed the subjects taught in forty leading secondary 
schools in the United States, and the total number of recita- 
tions, or exercises, allotted to each subject. Nearly two hundred 
schools were applied to for this information ; but it did not 
prove practicable to obtain within three months verified state- 
jments from more than forty schools. This table proved con- 
|clusively, first, that the totaJ number of subjects taught in theso 


secondary schools was nearly forty, thirteen of which, however, 
were found in only a few schools ; secondly, that many of these 
subjects were taught for such short periods that little training 
could be derived from them ; and thirdly, that the time allotted 
to the same subject in the different schools varied widely. 
Even for the older subjects, like Latin and algebra, there 
appeared to be a wide diversity of practice with regard to the 
time allotted to them. Since this table was comparative in its 
nature, that is, permitted comparisons to be made between 
different schools, and could be easily misunderstood and 
misapplied by persons who had small acquaintance with school 
programmes, it was treated as a - confidential document; and 
was issued at first only to the members of the Committee of 
Ten and the principals of the schools mentioned in the table. 
Later, it was sent still as a confidential paper to the mem- 
bers of the several conferences organized by the Committee of 

The Committee of Ten, after a preliminary discussion on 
November 9th, decided on November 10th to organize confer- 
ences on the following subjects: 1. Latin; 2. Greek; 
3. English; 4. Other Modern Languages; 5. Mathematics; 
6. Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry; 7. Natural History 
(Biology, including Botany, Zoology, and Physiology) ; 

8. History, Civil Government, and Political Economy; 

9. Geography (Physical Geography, Geology, and Meteorol- 
ogy). They also decided that each Conference should consist 
of ten members. They then proceeded to select the members 
of each of these Conferences, having regard in the selection 
to the scholarship and experience of the gentlemen named, 
to the fair division of the members between colleges on the 
one hand and schools on the other, and to the proper geo- 
graphical distribution of the total membership. After select- 
ing ninety members for the nine Conferences, the Committee 
decided on an additional number of names to be used as sub- 
stitutes for persons originally chosen who should decline to 
serve, from two to four substitutes being selected for each 
Conference. In the selection of substitutes the Committee 
found it difficult to regard the geographical distribution of 
the persons selected with as much strictness as in the original 


selection ; and, accordingly, when it became necessary to call 
on a considerable number of substitutes, the accurate geo- 
graphical distribution of membership was somewhat impaired. 
The lists of the members of the several Conferences were finally 
adopted at a meeting of the Committee on November llth; 
and the Chairman and Secretary of the Committee were then 
empowered to fill any vacancies which might occur. 

The Committee next adopted the following list of questions 
as a guide for the discussions of all the Conferences, and 
directed that the Conferences be called together on the 28th of 
December : 

1. In the school course of study extending approximately from the 
age of six years to eighteen years a course including the periods of 
both elementary and secondary instruction at what age should the 
study which is the subject of the Conference be first introduced? 

2. After it is introduced, how many hours a week for how many 
years should be devoted to it? 

3. How many hours a week for how many years should be devoted 
to it during the last four years of the complete course ; that is, during 
the ordinary high school period? 

4. What topics, or parts, of the subject may reasonably be covered 
during the whole course? 

5. What topics, or parts, of the subject may best be reserved for 
the last four years ? 

G. In what form and to what extent should the subject enter into 
college requirements for admission ? Such questions as the sufficiency 
of translation at sight as a test of knowledge of a language, or the 
superiority of a laboratory examination in a scientific subject to a 
written examination on a text-book, are intended to be suggested under 
this head by the phrase "in what form." 

7. Should the subject be treated differently for pupils who are 
going to college, for those who are going to a scientific school, and 
for those who, presumably, are going to neither? 

8. At what stage should this differentiation begin, if any be recom- 

9. Can any description be given of the best method of teaching this 
subject throughout the school course ? 

10. Can any description be given of the best mode of testing attair 
ments in this subject at college admission examinations? 


11. For those cases in which colleges and universities permit a 
division of the admission examination into a preliminary and a final 
examination, separated by at least a year, can the best limit between 
the preliminary and final examinations be approximately defined? 

The Committee further voted that it was expedient that the 
Conferences on Latin and Greek meet at the same place. 
Finally, all further questions of detail with regard to the 
calling and the instruction of the Conferences were referred 
to the Chairman with full power. 

During the ensuing six weeks, the composition of the nine 
Conferences was determined in accordance with the measures 
adopted by the Committee of Ten. Seventy persons originally 
selected by the Committee accepted the invitation of the 
Comnlittee, and sixty-nine of these persons were present at 
the meetings of their respective Conferences on the 28th of 
December. Twenty substitutes accepted service, of whom 
twelve were persons selected by the Committee of Ten, and 
eight were selected under the authority granted to the Chair- 
man and Secretary of the Committee in emergencies. One of 
these eight gentlemen was selected by a Conference at its first 
meeting. Two gentlemen who accepted service one of the 
original members and one substitute absented themselves 
from the meetings of their respective Conferences without 
giving any notice to the Chairman of the Committee of Ten, 
who was therefore unable to fill their places. With these two 
exceptions, all the Conferences met on December 28th with 
full membership. 

The places of meeting w r ere as follows : for the Latin and 
Greek Conferences, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 
Mich.; for the English Conference, Vassar College, Pough- 
keepsie, N. Y. ; for the Conference on Other Modern Lan- 
guages, the Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C. ; for 
the Conference on Mathematics, Harvard University, Cam- 
bridge, Mass. ; for the Conferences on Physics, Astronomy, and 
Chemistry, and on Natural History, the University of Chicago, 
Chicago, 111. ; for the Conference on History, Civil Govern- 
ment, and Political Economy, the University of Wisconsin, 
Madison, Wis. ; for the Conference on Geography, the Cook 


County Normal School, Englewood, 111. The Committee of 
Ten and all the Conferences enjoyed the hospitality of the several 
institutions at which they met, and the members were made 
welcome at private houses during the sessions. Through the 
exertions of Mr. N. A. Calkins, Chairman of the Trustees of 
the National Educational Association, important reductions of 
railroad fares were procured for some members of the Commit- 
tee and of the Conferences ; but the reductions obtainable were 
less numerous and considerable than the National Council of 
Education had hoped. In filling a few vacancies of which 
notice was received shortly before December 28th, it was 
necessary to regard as one qualification nearness of residence 
to the appointed places of meeting ; but on the whole the 
weight and effectiveness of the several Conferences were not 
impaired by the necessary replacement of twenty of the mem- 
bers originally selected by the Committee of Ten. The list of 
the members of the Conferences on the 28th of December was 
as follows : 

1. LATIN. 

Professor CHARLES E. BENNETT, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 
FREDERICK L. BLISS, Principal of the Detroit High School, Detroit, Mich. 
JNO. T. BUCHANAN, Principal of the Kansas City High School, Kansas 

City, Mo. 
WILLIAM .C. COLLAR, Head Master of the Roxbury Latin School, Rox- 

bury, Mass. 

JOHN S. CROMBIE, Principal of the Adelphi Academy, Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Professor JAMES H. DILLARD, Tulane University, New Orleans, La. 
Rev. WILLIAM GALLAGHER, Principal of Williston Seminary, East- 

hampton, Mass. 

Professor WILLIAM G. HALE, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111. 
Professor JOHN C. ROLFE, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. 
JULIUS SACHS, Principal of the Collegiate Institute for Boys, 38 West 59th 

Street, New York City. 

2. GREEK. 

E. W. COY, Principal of the Hughes High School, Cincinnati, O. 
Professor MARTIN L. D'OoGE, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. 
A. F. FLEET, Superintendent of the Missouri Military Academy, Mexico, 

ASHLEY D. HURT, Head Master of. the High School, Tulane University, 

New Orleans, La. 


ROBERT D. KEEP, Principal of the Free Academy, Norwich, Conn. 
Professor ABBY LEACH, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 
CLIFFORD H. MOORE, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. 
WILLIAM H. SMILEY, Principal of the High School, Denver, Colo. 
Professor CHARLES F. SMITH, Vanderbilt University. Nashville, Tenn. 
Professor BENJAMIN I. WHEELER, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 


Professor EDWARD A. ALLEN, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 
F. A. BARBOUR, Michigan State Normal School, Ypsilanti, Mich. 
Professor FRANK A. BLACKBURN, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111. 
Professor CORNELIUS B. BRADLEY, University of California, Berkeley, 


Professor FRANCIS B. GUMMERE, Haverford College, Pa. 
Professor EDWARD E. HALE, Jr., University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. 
Professor GEORGE L. KITTREDGE, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, 
CHARLES L. Loos, Jr., High School, Dayton, Ohio. 
W. H. MAXWELL, Superintendent of Schools, Brooklyn, N. Y. 
SAMUEL TIIURBER, Master in the Girls' High School, Boston, Mass. 


Professor JOSEPH L. ARMSTRONG, Trinity College, Durham, N. C. 

THOMAS B. BRONSON, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, N. J. 

Professor ALPHONSE N. VAN DAELL, Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology, Boston, Mass. 

CHARLES II . GRANDGENT, Director of Modern Language Instruction in the 
Public Schools, Boston, Mass. 

Professor CHARLES HARRIS, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. 

WILLIAM T. PECK, High School, Providence, R. I. 

Professor SYLVESTER PRIMER, University of Texas, Austin, Texas. 

JOHN J. SCHOBINGER, Principal of a Private School for Boys, Chicago, 111. 

ISIDORE H. B. SPIERS, William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Professor WALTER D. TOY, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 
N. C. 


Professor WILLIAM E. BYERLY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 
Professor FLORIAN CAJORI, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. 
ARTHUR H. CUTLER, Principal of a Private School for Boys, New York 


Professor HENRY B. FINE, College of New Jersey, Princeton, N. J. 
W. A. GREESON, Principal of the High School, Grand Rapids, Mich. 
ANDREW INGRAHAM, Swain Free School, New Bedford, Mass. 
Professor SIMON NEWCOMB, Johns Hopkins University, and Washington, 

D. C. 


Professor GEORGE D. OLDS, Amherst College, Amherst, Mass. 
JAMES L. PATTERSON, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, N. J. 
Professor T. H. S AFFORD, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. 


Professor BROWN AYERS, Tulane University, New Orleans, La. 

IRVING W. FAY, The Belmont School, Belmont, Calif. 

ALFRED P. GAGE, English High School, Boston, Mass. 

GEORGE WARREN KRALL, Manual Training School, Washington Uni- 
versity, St. Louis, Mo. 

Professor WILLIAM W. PAYNE, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. 

WILLIAM MCPHERSON, Jr,, 2901 Collinwood Avenue, Toledo, Ohio. 

Professor IRA REMSEN, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. 

Professor JAMES H. SHEPARD, South Dakota Agricultural College, Brook- 
ings, So. Dak. ' 

Professor WILLIAM J. WAGGENER, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo. 

GEORGE R. WHITE, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N. H. 


Professor CHARLES E. BESSEY, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb. 
ARTHUR C. BOYDEN, Normal School, Bridge water, Mass. < 
Professor SAMUEL F. CLARKE, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. 
Professor DOUGLAS H. CAMPBELL, Leland Stanford Jr. University, Palo 

Alto, Calif. 

President JOHN M. COULTER, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. 
Principal S. A. MERRITT, Helena, Montana. 
W. B. POWELL, Superintendent of Schools, Washington, D. C. 
CHARLES B. SCOTT, High School, St. Paul, Minn. 

Professor ALBERT H. TUTTLE, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. 
O. S. WESTCOTT, Principal of the North Division High School, Chicago, 111. 


President CHARLES K. ADAMS, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 
Professor EDWARD G. BOURNE, Adelbert College, Cleveland, Ohio. 
ABRAM BROWN, Principal of the Central High School, Columbus, Ohio. 
Professor A. B. HART, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 
RAY GREENE HULING, Principal of the High School, New Bedford, Mass. 
Professor JESSE MACY, Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa. 
Professor JAMES HARVEY ROBINSON, University of Pennsylvania, Phila- 
delphia, Pa. 

Professor WILLIAM A. SCOTT, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 
HENRY P. WARREN, Head Master of the Albany Academy, Albany, N. Y. 
Professor WOODROW WILSON, College of New Jersey, Princeton, N. J. 



Professor THOMAS C. CIIAMBERLIN, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111. 
Professor GEORGE L. COLLIE, Beloit College, Beloit, Wis. 
Professor )V. M. D^VTS. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 
DELWIN A. HAMLIN, Master of the Rice Training School, Boston, Mass. 
Professor^Emvix J. HOUSTON, Central High School, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Professor MARKjV\L_-HAK&tNOTON, The Weather Bureau, Washington, 

D. C. 

CHARLES F. KING, Dearborn School, Boston, Mass. 
FRANCIS W. PARKER, Principal of the Cook County Normal School, 

Englewood, 111. 

G. M. PHILIPS, Principal of the State Normal School, West Chester, Pa. 
Professor ISRAEL C. RUSSELL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. 

The ninety members of the Conferences were divided as 
follows, forty-seven were in the service of colleges or univer- 
sities, forty-two in the service of schools, and one was a 
government official formerly in the service of a university. A 
considerable number of the college men, however, had also had 
experience in schools. Each Conference, in accordance with a 
recommendation of the Committee of Ten, chose its own 
Chairman and Secretary ; and these two officers prepared the 
report of each Conference. Six of the Chairmen were college 
men, and three were school men ; while of the Secretaries, two 
were college men and seven school men. The Committee, of 


Ten requested that the reports of the Conferences should be 
sent to their Chairman by the 1st of April, 18 ( J3 three 
months being thus allowed for the preparation of the reports. 
Seven Conferences substantially conformed to this request of 
the Committee ; but the reports from the Conferences on 
Natural History and Geography were delayed until the second 
week in July. The Committee of Ten, being of course unable 
to prepare their own report until all the reports of the December 
Conferences had been received, were prevented from presenting 
their report, as they had intended, at the Education Congress 
which met at Chicago July 27th-29th. 

All the Conferences sat for three days ; their discussions 
were frank, earnest, and thorough ; but in every Conference an 
extraordinary unity of opinion was arrived at. The nine 
reports are characterized by an amount, of agreement which 


quite surpasses the most sanguine anticipations. Only two 
Conferences present minority reports, namely, the Conference 
on Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry, and the Conference 
on Geography ; and in the first case, the dissenting opinions 
touch only two points in the report of the majority, one of 
which is unimportant. In the great majority of matters brought 
before each Conference, the decision of the Conference was 
unanimous. When one considers the different localities, insti- 
tutions, professional experiences, and personalities represented 
in each of the Conferences, the unanimity developed is very 
striking, and should carry great weight. 

Before the 1st of October, 1893, the reports of the Confer- 
ences had all been printed, after revision in proof by the chair- 
men of the Conferences respectively, and had been distributed 
to the members of the Committee of Ten, together with a 
preliminary draft of a report for the Committee. With the 
aid of comments and suggestions received from members of the 
Committee a second draft of this report was made ready in 
print to serve as the ground- work of the deliberations of the 
Committee at their final meeting. This meeting was held at 
Columbia College from the 8th to the llth of November, 1893, 
inclusive, every member being present except Professor King, 
who is spending the current academic year in Europe. The 
points of view and the fields of work of the different members 
of the Committee being fortunately various, the discussions at 
this prolonged meeting were vigorous and comprehensive, and 
resulted in a thorough revision of the preliminary report. This 
third revise having been submitted to the members of the 
Committee, a cordial agreement on both the form and the sub- 
stance of the present report, with the exceptions stated in the 
minority report of President Baker, was arrived at after a 
correspondence which extended over three weeks. The report 
itself embodies the numerous votes and resolutions adopted by 
the Committee. 

Professor King, having received in Europe the Conference 
reports, the two preliminary drafts of the Committee's report, 
and the third revise, desired to have his name signed to the 
final report. 


The Council and the public will doubtless be impressed, at 
first sight, with the great number and variety of important 
changes urged by the Conferences ; but on a careful reading of 
the appended reports it will appear that the spirit of the Con- 
ferences was distinctly consj^vjiive and moderate, although 
many of their recommendations are of a radical nature. The 
Conferences which found their tasks the most difficult were the 
Conferences on Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry ; Natural 
History ; History, Civil Government, and Political Economy ; 
and Geography ; and these four Conferences make the longest 
and most elaborate reports, for the reason that these subjects 
are to-day more imperfectly dealt with in primary and second- 
ary schools than are the subjects of the first five Conferences. 
The experts who met to confer together concerning the teaching 
of the last four subjects in the list of Conferences all felt the 
- need of setting forth in an ample way what ought to be taught, 
in what order, and by what method. They ardently desired to 
have their respective subjects made equal to Latin, Greek, and 
Mathematics in weight and influence in the schools ; but they 
knew that educational tradition was adverse to this desire, and 
that many teachers and directors of education felt no confi- 
dence in these subjects as disciplinary material. Hence the 
length and elaboration of these reports. In less degree, the 
Conferences on English and Other Modern Languages felt the 
same difficulties, these subjects being relatively new as sub- 
stantial elements in school programmes. 

The Committee of Ten requested the Conferences to make 
their reports and recommendations as specific as possible. 
This request was generally complied with ; but, very naturally, 
the reports and recommendations are more specific concerning 
the selection of topics in each subject, the best methods of 
instruction, and the desirable appliances or apparatus, than 
concerning the allotment of time to each subject. The allot- 
ment of time is a very important matter of administrative detail ; 
but it presents great difficulties, requires a comprehensive sur- 
vey of the comparative claims of many subjects, and in different 
parts of the country is necessarily affected by the various local 
conditions and historical developments. Nevertheless, there 
will be found in the Conference reports recommendations of a 


fundamental and far-reaching character concerning the allotment 
of programme time to each subject. 

It might have been expected that every Conference would 
have demanded for its subject a larger proportion of time than 
is now commonly assigned to it in primary and secondary 
schools ; but, as a matter of fact, the reports are noteworthy 
for their moderation in this respect, especially the reports 
on the old and well-established subjects. The Latin Conference 
declares that, "In view of the just demand for more and 
better work in several other subjects of the preparatory course, 
it seemed clear to the Conference that no increase in the 
quantity of the preparation in Latin should be asked for." 
Among the votes passed by the Greek Conference will be 
noticed the following : " That in making the following 
recommendations, this Conference desires that the average age 
,/at which pupils now enter college should be lowered rather 
than raised ; and the Conference urges that no addition be 
made in the advanced requirements in Greek for admission to 
college." The Mathematical Conference recommends that the 
course in arithmetic in elementary schools should be abridged, 
and recommends only a moderate assignment of time to algebra 
and geometry. The Conference on Geography says of the 
present assignment of time to geography in primary and 
md secondary .schools that "it is the judgment of the 
Conference that too much time is given to the subject in 
proportion to the results secured. It is not their judgment 
that more time is given to the subject than it merits, but that 
either more should be accomplished, or less time taken to 
attain it." 

Anyone who reads these nine reports consecutively will be 
struck with the fact that all these bodies of experts desire to 
have the elements of their several subjects taught earlier than 
they now are ; and that the Conferences on all the subjects 
except the languages desire to have given in the elementary 
schools what may be called perspective views, or broad surveys, 
of their respective subjects expecting that in later years of 
the school course parts of these same subjects will be taken up 
with more amplitude and detail. The Conferences on Latin, 
Greek, and the Modern Languages agree in desiring to have 


the study of foreign languageabegin at a much ^arlier age 
than now, theT^atnTConlerence suggesting by a reference 
European usage that Latin be begun from three to five yeai 
earlier than it commonly is now. The Conference on Mathe- 
matics wish to have given in elementary schools not only a 
general survey of arithmetic, but also the elements of algebra, 
and concrete geometry in connection with drawing. The 
Conference on Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy urge that 
nature studies should constitute an important part of the 
elementary school course from ^ the very beginning. The 
Conference on Natural History wish the elements of botany 
and zoology to be taught in the primary schools. The 
Conference on History wish the systematic study of history to 
begin as early as the tenth year of age, and the first two years 
of study to be devoted to mythology and to biography for the 
.illustration of general history as well as of American history. 
Finally, the Conference on Geography recommend that the 
v'earlier course treat broadly of the earth, its environment and 
inhabitants, extending freely into fields which in later years of 
study are recognized as belonging to separate sciences. 

In thus claiming entrance for their subjects into the earlier 
years of school attendance, the Conferences on the newer 
subjects are only seeking an advantage which the oldest 
subjects have long possessed. The elements of language, 
number, and geography have long been imparted to young 
children. As things now are, the high school teacher finds in 
the pupils fresh from the grammar schools no foundation of 
elementary mathematical conceptions outside of arithmetic ; 
no acquaintance with algebraic language ; and no accurate 
knowledge of geometrical forms. As to botany, zoology, 
chemistry, and physics, the minds of pupils entering the high 
school are ordinarily blank on these subjects. When college 
professors endeavor to teach chemistry, physics, botany, 
zoology, meteorology, or geology to persons of eighteen or 
twenty years of age, they discover that in most instances new 
habits of observing, reflecting, and recording have to be 
painfully acquired by the students, habits which they should 
have acquired in early childhood. The college teacher of 
history finds in like manner that his subject has never taken 


any serious hold on the minds of pupils fresh from the secondary 
schools. He finds that they have devoted astonishingly little 
time to the subject ; and that they have acquired no habit of 
historical investigation, or of the comparative examination of 
different historical narratives concerning the same periods or 
events. It is inevitable, therefore, that specialists in any one of 
the subjects which are pursued in the high schools or colleges 
should earnestly desire that the minds of young children 
be stored with some of the elementary facts and principles of 
their subject ; and that all the mental habits, which the adult 
student will surely need, begin to be formed in the child's 
mind before the age of fourteen. It follows, as a matter of 
course, that all the Conferences except the Conference on 
Greek, make strong suggestions concerning the programmes of 
primary and^rammar schools, generally with some reference 
to the subsequent programmes of secondary schools. They 
desire important changes in the elementary grades ; and the 
changes recommended are all in the direction of increasing 
simultaneously the interest and the substantial training quality 
of primary and grammar school studies. 

If anyone feels dismayed at the number and variety of the 
subjects to be opened to children of tender age, let him observe 

i that while these nine Conferences desire each their own subject 
to be brought into the courses of elementary schools, they all 

/agree that these different subjects should be correlated and 
associated one with another by the programme and by the 
actual teaching. If the nine Conferences had sat all together 
as a single body, instead of sitting as detached and even 
isolated bodies, they could not have more forcibly expressed 
their conviction that every subject recommended for intro- 
duction into elementary and secondary schools should help 
every other ; and that the teacher of each single subject should 
feel responsible for the advancement of the pupils in all 
subjects, and should distinctly contribute to this advancement. 
On one very important question of general policy which 
affects profoundly the preparation of all school programmes, 
the Committee of Ten and all the Conferences are absolutely 
unanimous. Among the questions suggested for discussion in 
each Conference were the following : 


7. Should the subject be treated differently for pupils who are 
going to college, for those who are going to a scientific school, and 
for those who, presumably, are going to neither? 

8. At what age should this differentiation begin, if any be 

The 7th question is answered unanimously in the negative by 

the Conferences, and the 8th therefore needs no answer. The 

Committee of Ten unanimously agree with the Conferences. 

Ninety-eight teachers, intimately concerned either with the 

actual work of American secondary schools, or with the results 

of that work as they appear in students who come to college, 

/unanimously declare that every subject which is taught at all 

I in a secondary school should be taxight in the same way and 

1 to the same extent to every pupil so long as he pursues it, no 

j matter what the probable destination of the pupil may be, or 

at what point his education is to cease. Thus, for all pupils 

who study Latin, or history, or algebra, for example, the 

allotment of time and the method of instruction in a given 


school should be the same year by year. Not that all the 
pupils should pursue every subject for the same number of 
years; but so long as they do pursue it, they should all be 
treated alike. It has been a very general custom in American 
high schools and academies to make up separate courses of 
study for pupils of supposed different destinations, the propor- 
tions of the several studies in the different courses being various. 
The principle laid down by the Conferences will, if logically 
carried out, make a great simplification in secondary sc*hool 
programmes. It will lead to each subject's being treated by. the 
school in the same way by the year for all pupils, and this, 
whether the individual pupil be required to choose between 
courses which run through several years, or be allowed some . 
choice among subjects year by year. 

Persons who read all the appended reports will observe the 
frequent occurrence of the statement that, in order to introduce 
the changes recommended, teachers_more big]ily__tmiiied will 
be needed in both the elementary and the secondary schools. 
There are frequent expressions to the effect that a higher grade 
of scholarship is needed in teachers of the lower classes, or that 
the general adoption of some method urged by a Conference 


must depend upon the better preparation of teachers in the 
high schools, model schools, normal schools, or colleges in 
which they are trained. The experienced principal or superin- 
tendent in reading the reports will be apt to say to himself, - 
"This recommendation is sound, but cannot be carried out 
without teachers who have received a training superior to that 
of the teachers now at my command." It must be remembered, 
in connection with these admissions, or expressions of anxiety, 
that the Conferences were urged by the Committee of Ten to 
advise the Committee concerning the best possible almost the 
ideal treatment of each subject taught in a secondary school 
course, without, however, losing sight of the actual condition 
of American schools, or pushing their recommendations beyond 
what might reasonably be considered attainable in a moderate 
number of years. The Committee believe that the Conferences 
have carried out wisely the desire of the Committee, in that 
they have recommended improvements, which, though great 
and seldom to be made at once and simultaneously, are by no 
means unattainable. The existing agencies for giving instruc- 
tion to teachers already in service are numerous ; and the 
normal schools and the colleges are capable of making prompt 
and successful efforts to supply the better trained and equipped 
teachers for whom the reports of the Conferences call. 

Many recommendations will be found to be made by more' 
than one Conference. Thus, all the Conferences on foreign 
languages seem to agree that the introduction of two foreign 
languages in the same year is inexpedient ; and all of them 
insist on practice in reading the foreign language aloud, on 
the use of good English in translating, and on practice in 
translating the foreign language at sight, and in writing it. 
Again, all the Conferences on scientific subjects dwell on 
> laboratory work by the pupils as the best means of instruction, 
and on the great utility of the genuine laboratory note-book ; 
and they all protest that teachers of science need at least as 
thorough a special training as teachers of languages or mathe- 
matics receive. In reading the reports, many instances will be 
noticed in which different Conferences have reached similar 
conclusions without any consultation, or have followed a 
common line of thought. 


Your Committee now proceed to give summaries of the most 
important recommendations made by the Conferences as regards 
topics and methods, reserving the subject of time-allotment. 
But in so doing, they desire to say that the reading of these 
summaries should not absolve anyone interested in the general 
subject from reading with care the entire report of every Con- 
ference. The several reports are so full of suggestions and 
recommendations concisely and cogently stated that it is im- 
possible to present adequate abstracts of them. 

1. LATIN. 

An important recommendation of the Latin Conference is the 
recommendation that the study of Latin be introduced into 
American schools earlier, .than it now is. They recommend 
that trajiglatianjit sight form a constant and increasing part of 
the examinations for admission to college and of the work of 
preparation. They next urge that practice in writing Latin 
should not be dissociated from practice in rejadinj_and Vanslat- 
ing ; but, on the contrary, that the two should be carried on 
with equal steps. The Conference desire the schools to adopt 
a greater variety of Latin authors for beginners, and they give 
good reasons against the exclusive use of Caesar's Gallic War. 
They object to the common practice of putting the teaching of 
beginners into the hands of the youngfest teachers, who have 
the slenderest equipment of knowledge and experience. They 
dwell on the importance of attending to pronunciation and 
reading aloud, to fproja, vocabulary, syntax, and order, and to 
the means of learning to understand the Latin before translating 
it ; and they describe and urge the importance of a higher ideal 
in translation than now prevails in secondary schools. The 
formal recommendations of the Conference, fourteen in number, 
will be found concisely stated in numbered paragraphs at the 
close of their report. 

2. GREEK. 

The Conference on Greek agree with the Conference on Latin 
in recommending the cultivation of reading at sight in schools, 
and in recommending that practice in translation into the foreign 


language should be continued throughout the school course. 
They urge that three years be the minimum time for the study 
of Greek in schools ; provided that Latin be studied four years. 
They would not have a pupil begin the study of Greek without 
.a knowledge of the elements of Latin. They recommend the 
substitution of portions of the Hellenica for two books of the 
Anabasis in the requirements for admission to college, and the 
use of some narrative portions of Thwyvdides in schools. They 
urge that Homer should continue to be studied in all schools 
which provide instruction in Greek through three years, and 
they suggest that the Odyssey is to be preferred to the Iliad. 
They regret "that so few colleges through their admission 
examinations encourage reading at sight in schools." Like 
the Latin Conference, the Greek Conference urge that the 
reading of the text be constantly practiced by both teacher 
and pupil, " and that teachers require from their pupils no 
less intelligent reading of the text than accurate translation 
of the same." The Greek Conference also adopted a vote " to 
concur with the Latin Conference as to the age at which the 
study of Latin should be begun." The specific recommenda- 
tions of the Conference will be found in brief form in the 
paragraphs at the head of the eleven numbered sections into 
which their report is divided. 


The Conference on English found it necessary to deal with 
the study of English in schools below the high school grade as 
well as in the high school. Their opening recommendations 
deal with the very first years of school, and one of the most 
interesting and admirable parts of their report relates to Eng- 
lish in the primary and the grammar schools. 

The Conference, are! of the opinion that English should be 
pursued in the high school during the entire course of four 
years ; but in making this recommendation the Conference have 
in mind both study of literature and training in the expression of 
thought. To the study of rhetoric they assign one hour a week 
in the third year of the high school course. To the subject of 
historical and systematic grammar they assign one hour a week 


in the fourth year of the high school course. The intelligent 
reader of the report of this Conference will find described in it 
the means by which the study of English in secondary schools 
is to be made the equal of any other study in disciplinary or 
develo_DinoL_pawer-. The Conferencfijcjaim for English as much 

-, * ~J A CT 

time as the Latin Conference claim for Latin in secondary 
schools ; and it is clear that they intend that the study shall be 
in all respects as serious and informing as the study of Latin. 
One of the most interesting opinions expressed by the Confer- 
ence is " that the best results in the teaching of English in high 
schools cannot be secured without the aid given by the study 
of some other language ; and that Latin and German, by reason 
of their fuller inflectional system, are especially suited to this 
end." In the case of high schools, as well as in schools of lower 
grade, the Conference declare that every teacher, whatever his 
department, should feel responsible for the use of good English 
on the part of his pupils. In several passages of this report j 
the idea recurs that training in (English must go hand in hand | 
with the study of other subjects.) Thus the Conference hope 
for the study of the history and geography of the English- 
speaking people, so far as these illustrate the development 
of the English language. They mention that "the extent 
to which the study of the sources of English words can be 
carried in any school or class will depend on the acquaintance 
the pupils possess with Latin, French, and German." They 
say that the study of words should be so pursued as to illus- 
trate the political, social, intellectual, and religious develop- 
ment of the English race ; and they urge that the admission of 
n student to college should be made to depend largely on his 
ability to write English, as shown in his examination books on 
other subjects./ It is a fund am ental_ idea in this report that the 
study of every other subject should contribute, to the pupil's 
training in English ; and that the pupil's capacity to write 
English should be made available, and be developed, in every 
other department. The very specific recommendations of the 
Conference as to English requirements for admission to colleges 
and scientific schools are especially wise and valuable. 



The most novel and striking recommendation made by the 
Conference on Modern Languages is that an elective course in 
German or French be provided in the grammar school, the 
instruction to be open to children at about ten years of age. 
The Conference made this recommendation "in the firm belief 
that the educational effects of modern language study will be of 
immense benefit to all who are able to pursue it under proper 
guidance." They admit that the study of Latin presents the 
same advantages ; but living languages seem to them better 
adapted to grammar school work. The recommendations of 
this Conference with regard to the number of lessons a 
week are specific. They even construct a table showing 
the time which should be devoted to modern languages in each 
of the last four years of the elementary schools and in each 
year of the high school. They plead that "all pupils of the 
same intelligence and the same degree of maturity be instructed 
alike, no matter whether they are subsequently to enter a 
college or scientific school, or intend to pursue their studies no 
further." The Conference also state with great precision what 
in their judgment may be expected of pupils in German and 
French at the various stages of their progress. An important 
passage of the report treats of the best way to facilitate the pro- 
gress of beginners ; pupils should be lifted over hard places; 
frequent reviews are not to be recommended ; new texts stimu- 
late interest and enlarge the vocabulary. Their recommenda- 
tions concerning translation into English, reading aloud, 
habituating the ear to the sounds of the foreign language, and 
translating into the foreign language, closely resemble the 
recommendations of the Conferences on Latin, Greek, and 
English regarding the best methods of instruction in those 
languages. In regard to college requirements, the Conference 

'agree with several other Conferences in stating " that college 
requirements for admission should coincide with the high school 
requirements for graduation." Finally, they declare that "the 
worst obstacle to modern language study is the lack of properly 
equipped instructors ; and that it is the duty of universities, 
states, and cities to provide opportunities for the special 
preparation of modern language teachers." 



The form of the report of the Conference on Mathematics 
differs somewhat from that of the other reports. This report 
is subdivided under five headings : 1st, General Conclusions. 
2nd, The Teaching of Arithmetic. 3rd, The Teaching of Con- 
crete Geometry. 4th, The Teaching of Algebra. 5th, The 
Teaching of Formal or Demonstrative Geometry. 

The first general conclusion of the Conference was arrived at 
unanimously. The Conference consisted of one government 
official and university professor, five professors of mathematics 
in as many colleges, one principal of a high school, two 
teachers of mathematics in endowed schools, and one proprietor 
of a private school for boys. . The professional experience of 
these gentlemen and their several fields of work were various, 
and they came from widely separated parts of the country ; yet 
they were unanimously of opinion "that a radical change in 
the teaching of arithmetic was necessary." They recommend 
"that the course in arithmetic be at once abridged and enriched ; 
abridged by omitting entirely those subjects which perplex and 
exhaust the pupil without affording any really valuable jmental 
discipline, and enriched by a greater number of exercises in 
simple calculation, and in the solution of concrete problems. " 
They specify in detail the subjects which they think should be 
curtailed, or entirely omitted ; and they give in their special 
report on the teaching of arithmetic a full statement of the 
reasons on which their conclusion is based. They map out a 
course in arithmetic which, in their judgment, should begin 
about the age of six years, and be completed at about the 
thirteenth year of age. 

The Conference next recommend that a course of instruction 
in concrete geometry with numerous exercises be introduced 
into the grammar schools ; and that this instruction should, / 
during the earlier years, be given in connection with drawing./ 
| They recommend that the study of systematic algebra should 
be begun at the age of fourteen ; but that, in connection with / 
the study of arithmetic, the pupils should earlier be made 
familiar with algebraic expressions and symbols, including 
. the method of solving simple equations. "The Conference 


believe that the study of demonstrative geometry should begin 
at the end of the first year's study of algebra, and be carried on 
by the side of algebra for the next two years, occupying about 
two hours and a half a week." They are also of opinion "that 
if the introductory course in concrete geometry has been well 
taught, both plane and solid geometry can be mastered at this 
time." Most of the improvements in teaching arithmetic which 
the Conference suggest "can be summed up under the two 
heads of giving the teaching a more concrete form, and paying 
more attention to facility and correctness in work. The con- 
crete system should not be confined to principles, but be 
extended to practical applications in measuring and in physics." 

In regard to the teaching of concrete geometry, the Confer- 
ence urge that while the student's geometrical education should 
begin in the kindergarten, or at the latest in the primary school, 
systematic instruction in concrete or experimental geometry 
should begin at about the age of ten for the average student, 
and should occupy about one school hour a week for at least 
three years. From the outset of this course, the pupil should 
be required to express himself verbally as well as by drawing 
and modelling. He should learn to estimate by the eye, and 
to measure with some degree of accuracy, lengths, angular 
magnitudes, and areas ; to make accurate plans from his own 
measurements and estimates ; and to make models of simple 
geometrical solids. The whole work in concrete geometry will 
connect itself on the one side with the work in arithmetic, and 
on the other with elementary instruction in physics. With the 
study of arithmetic is therefore to be intimately associated the 
study of algebraic signs and forms, of concrete geometry, and 
of elementary physics. Here is a striking instance of the inter- 
lacing of subjects which seems so desirable to every one of the 
nine Conferences. 

Under the head of teaching algebra, the Conference set forth 
in detail the method of familiarizing the pupil with the use of 
algebraic language during the study of arithmetic. This part 
of the report also deals clearly with the question of the time 
required for the thorough mastery of algebra through quadratic 
equations. The report on the teaching of demonstrative geom- 
etry is a clear and concise statement of the best method of 


teaching this subject. It insists on the importance of elegance 
and finish in geometrical demonstration, for the reason that the 
discipline for which geometrical demonstration is to be chiefly 
prized is a discipline in complete, exact, and logical statement. 
If slovenliness of expression, or awkwardness of form, is toler- 
ated, this admirable discipline is lost. The Conference therefore 
recommend an abundance of oral exercises in geometry for 
which there is no proper substitute and the rejection of all 
demonstrations which are not exact and formally perfect. 
Indeed throughout all the teaching of mathematics the Con- 
ference deem it important that great stress be laid by the 
teacher on accuracy of statement and elegance of form as well 
as on clear and rigorous reasoning. Another very important 
recommendation in this part of the report is to be found in the 
following passage, "As soon as the student has acquired 
the art of rigorous demonstration, his work should cease to be 
merely receptive. He should begin to devise constructions 
and demonstrations for himself. Geometry cannot be mastered 
by reading the demonstrations of a text-book ; and while there 
is no branch of elementary mathematics in which purely recep- 
tive work, if continued too long, may lose its interest more 
completely, there is also none in which independent work can 
be made more attractive and stimulating." These observations 
are entirely in accordance with the recent practice of some 
colleges in setting admission examination papers in geometry 
which demand of the candidates some capacity to solve new 
problems, or rather to make new application of familiar 


The Conference on this subject were urgent that the study 
of simple natural phenomena be introduced into elementary 
schools ; and it was tho sense of the Conference that at least 
one period a day from the fir^st year of the primary school 
should be given to such study. Apparently the Conference 
entertained the opinion that the present teachers in elementary 
schools are ill prepared to teach children how to observe simple 
natural phenomena ; for their second recommendation was that 
special science teachers or superintendents be appointed to 


instruct J;he teachers of elementary schools in the methods of 
teaching natural phenomena. The Conference was clearly of 
opinion that from the beginning this study should be pursued 
by the pupil chiefly, though not exclusively, by means of 
experimeiits and by practice in the use of simple instruments 
for making physical measurements. The report dwells re- 
peatedly on the importance of the study of things and phenom- 
ena by direct^contact. It emphasizes the necessity of a large 
proportion of laboratory work in the study of physics and 
chemistry, and advocates the keeping of laboratory note-books 
by the pupils, and the use of such note-books as part of the 
test for admission to college. At the same time the report 
points out that laboratory work must be conjoined with the 
study of a text^bopk and with attendance at lectures or demon- 
strations ; and that intelligent direction by a good teacher is 
as necessary in a laboratory as it is in the ordinary recitation 
or lecture room. The great utility of the laboratory note-book 
is emphatically stated. To the objection that the kind of 
instruction described requires (much time and eifort on the part 
of the teacher) the Conference reply that to give good instruc- 
tion in the sciences requires of the teacher more work than to 
give good instruction in mathematics or the languages ; and 
that the sooner this fact is recognized by those who have the 
management of schools the better for all concerned. The 
science teacher must regularly spend much time in collecting 
materials, preparing experiments, and keeping collections in 
order ; and this indispensable labor should be allowed for in 
. programmes and salaries. As regards the means of testing 
the progress of the pupils in physics and chemistry, the 
Conference were unanimously of opinion that a laboratory 
examination should always be combined with an oral or written 
examination, neither test taken singly being sufficient. There 
was a difference of opinion in the Conference on the question 
whether physics should precede chemistry, or chemistry 
physics. vThe logical order would place physics first ; but all 
the members of the Conference but one advised that chemistry 
be put first for practical reasons which are stated in the majority 
reportS> A sub-committee of the Conference has prepared lists 
of experiments in physics and chemistry for the use of second- 


ary schools, not, of course, as a prescription, but only as a 
suggestion, and a somewhat precise indication of the topics 
which the Conference had in mind, and of the limits of the 


The Conference on Natural History unanimously agreed that 
the study of botany and zoology ought to be introduced into 
the primary schools at the very beginning of the school course, 
and be pursued steadily, with not less than two periods a week, 
throughout the whole course below the high school. In the 
next place they agreed that in these early lessons in natural 
science no text-book should be used ; but that the study should 
constantly be associated with the study of literature, lan- 
guage, and drawing. It was their opinion that the study 
of physiology should be postponed to the later years of the 
high school course ; but that in the high school, some branch of 
natural history proper should be pursued every day throughout 
at least one year. Like the report on Physics, Chemistry, and 
Astronomy, the report on Natural History emphasizes tjie 
absolute necessity of 1 aboratory work by the pupils on plants 
and animals ; and would have careful drawing insisted on from 
the beginning of the instruction. As the laboratory note-book 
is recommended by the Conference on Physics, so the Confer- 
ence on Natural History recommends that the pupils should be 
made to express themselves clearly and exactly in words, or by 
drawings, in describing the objects which they observe ; and 
they believe that this practice will be found a valuable aid in 
training the pupils in the art of expression. They agree with 
the Conference on Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy that 
science examinations should include both a written and a 
laboratory test, and that the laboratory note-books of the 
pupils should be produced at the examination. The recom- 
mendations of this Conference are therefore very similar to 
those of the sixth Conference, so far as methods go ; but there 
are appended to the general report of the Conference on 
Natural History sub-reports which describe the proper topics, 
the best order of topics, and the right methods of instruction 
in botany for schools below the high school, and for the high 


school itself, and in zoology for the secondary schools. 
Inasmuch as both the subject matter and the methods of 
instruction in natural history are much less familiar to ordinary 
school teachers than the matter and the methods in the lan- 
guages and mathematics, the Conference believed that descrip- 
tive details were necessary in order to give a clear view of 
the intentions of the Conference. In another sub-report the 
Conference give their reasons for recommending the postpone- 
ment to the latest possible time of the study of physiology and 
hygiene. Like the sixth Conference, the Conference on Natural 
History protest that no person should be regarded as qualified 
to teach natural science who has not had special training for 
this work, a preparation at least as thorough as that of their 
fellow teachers of mathematics and the languages. 


The Conference on History, Civil Government, and Political 
Economy had a task different in some respects from those of 
other Conferences. It is now-a-days admitted that language, 
natural science, and mathematics should each make a substan- 
tial part of education ; but the function of history in education 
is still very imperfectly apprehended. Accordingly, the eighth 
Conference were at pains to declare their conception of the 
object of studying history and civil government in schools, and 
their belief in the efficiency of these studies in training the 
judgment, and in preparing children for intellectual enjoyments 
in after years, and for the exercise at maturity of a salutary 
/influence upon national affairs. They believed that the time 
\l devoted in schools to history and the allied subjects should be 
materially increased ; and they have therefore presented argu- 
ments in favor of that increase. At the same time, they state 
strongly their conviction that they have recommended " nothing 
that was not already being done in some good schools, and that 
might not reasonably be attained wherever there is an efficient 
system of graded schools." This Conference state quite as 
strongly as any other their desire to associate the study of their 
particular subject with that of other subjects which enter into 
every school programme. They declare that the teaching of 


history should be intimately connected with the teaching of ' 
English ; that pupils should be encouraged to avail themselves 
of their knowledge of ancient and modern languages ; and that 
their study of history should be associated with the study of 
topography and political geography, and should be supple- 
mented by the study of historical and commercial geography, 
and the drawing of historical maps. They desire that historical 
works should be used for reading in schools, and that subjects 
of English composition should be drawn from the lessons in 
history. They would have historical poems committed to 
memory, and the reading of biographies and historical novels 
encouraged. While they are of opinion that political economy 
should not be taught in secondary schools, they urge that, in 
connection with United States history, ci \dJLgov_ernment, and 
commerciaTgeography, instruction should be given in the most 
important economic topics. The Conference would therefore 
have the instruction in history made contributory- to the work 
in three other school departments, namely, English, geography, 
and drawing. The subject of civil government they would 
associate with both history apd geography. They would intro- 
duce it into the grammar school by means of oraHessons, and 
into the high school by means of a text-book with collateral 
reading and oral lessons. In the high school they believe that 
the study of civil government may be made comparative, 
that is, that the American method may be compared with 
foreign systems. 

Although the Conference was made up of very diverse 
elements, every member of the Conference was heartily in 
favor of every vote adopted. This remarkable unanimity was 
not obtained by the silence of dissentients, or the withdrawal 
of opposition on disputed points. It was the natural result of 
the strong conviction of all the members, that history, when 
taught by the methods advocated in their report, deserves a 
position in school programmes which would give it equal 
dignity and importance with any of the most favored subjects, 
and that the advantages for all children of the rational study of 
history ought to be diffused as widely as possible. On one 
point they made a clearer declaration than any other Con- 
ference ; although several other Conferences indicate similar 


opinions. They declared that their interest was chiefly " in 
the school children who have no expectation of going to 
college, the larger number of whom will not even enter a 
high school," and that their " recommendations are in no way 
directed to building up the colleges, or increasing the number 
of college students." Like every other Conference, they felt 
anxious about the qualifications of the teachers who are to be 
entrusted with the teaching of history, and they urged that 
only teachers who have had adequate special training should be 
employed to teach history and civil government. In their 
specific recommendations they strongly urge that the historical 
course be made continuous from year to year, and extend 
through eight years, and in this respect be placed upon the 
same footing with other substantial subjects. 

The answers of this Conference to the questions contained in 
the memorandum sent to the Conferences by the Committee of 
Ten were specific and clear. They will be found in an 
appendix to the report of the Conference. 

In regard to the time to be devoted to history in school 
programmes, this Conference ask for not less than three 
periods a week throughout a course of eight years ; and they 
surest that some of this time can be found by contracting; the 

OO / O 

course in arithmetic, and using for history a part of the time 
now given to political geography and to language study. Of 
these eight years they suggest that four should be in the high 
school and four in the grammar school. They " especially 
recommend such a choice of subjects as will give pupils in the 
grammar schools an opportunity of studying the history of 
other countries, and to the high schools one year's study on 
the intensive method." 

A large portion of the report is necessarily taken up with 
the description of what the Conference consider the most 
suitable historical topics and the best methods of teaching 
history. This portion of the report does not admit of any 
useful presentation in outline ; it must be read in full. 

With regard to examinations in history for admission to 
college, the Conference protest "against the present lax and 
inefficient system," and seem to sum up their own desires on 
this subject in the statement that "the requirements for college 


ought to be so framed that the methods of teaching best adapted 
to meet them will also be best for all pupils." 

Like the Conferences on scientific subjects the Conference on 
History insist on note-books, abstracts, special reports, and 
other written work, as desirable means of teaching. If the 
recommendations of the nine Conferences should be carried out 
in grammar and high schools, there would certainly be at least 
one written exercise a day for every pupil, a result which 
persons interested in training children to write English deem 
it important to accomplish. 

The observations of the Conference on geographical training 
in connection with history are interesting and suggestive, as 
are also the recurring remarks on the need of proper apparatus 
for teaching history, such as maps, reference-libraries, histori- 
cal pictures, and photographs. It is not the natural sciences 
alone which need school apparatus. 


Considering that geography has been a subject of recognized"? 
value in elementary schools for many generations, and that a 
considerable portion of the whole school time of children has 
long been devoted to a studyjcalled by this name, it is soni 
what startling to find that the report of the Conference on 
Geography deals with more novelties than any other report \) 
exhibits more dissatisfaction with prevailing methods; and\ 
makes, on the whole, the most revolutionary suggestions. ) I 
This Conference had but nine members present at its sessions ; ~ 
and before the final revision of its report had been accomplished, 
one of the most valued of its members died. Seven members 
sign the majority report, and the minority report is presented 
by one member. The dissenting member, however, while 
protesting against the views of the majority on many points, 
concurs with the majority in some of the most important 
conclusions arrived at by the Conference. 

It is obvious on even a cursory reading of the majority and , / 
minority reports that geography means for all the members of 
this Conference something entirely different from the term I 
geography as generally used in school programmes. Their 
definition of the word makes it embrace not only a description 


of the surface of the earth, but also the elements of botany, 
zoology, astronomy, and meteorology, as well as many con- 
siderations pertaining to commerce, government, and ethnology, 
he physical environment of man " expresses as well as any 
single phrase can the Conference's conception of the principal 
ubject which they wish to have taught. No one can read the 
reports without perceiving that the advanced instruction in 
geography which the Conference conceive to be desirable and 
feasible in high, .schools cannot be given until the pupils have 
mastered many of the elementary facts of botany, zoology, 
V geometry, and physics. It is noteworthy also that this ninth 
Conference, like the seventh, dealt avowedly and unreservedly 
with the whole range of instruction in primary and secondary 
schools. They did not pretend to treat chiefly instruction in 
secondary schools, and incidentally instruction in the lower 
4 schools ; but, on the contrary, grasped at once the whole prob- 
lem, and described the topics, methods, and apparatus appropri- 
ate to the entire course of twelve years. They recognized that 
complete descriptions would be necessary in all three branches 
of the subject, topics, methods, and equipment; and they 
have given these descriptions with an amplitude and force 
which leave little to be desired. More distinctly than any 
other Conference, they recognized that they were presenting an 
ideal course which could not be carried into effect everywhere 
or immediately. Indeed at several points they frankly state 
that the means of carrying out their recommendations are not 
at present readily accessible ; and they exhibit the same anxiety 
which is felt by several other Conferences about training 
teachers for the kind of work which the Conference believe to 
be desirable. After the full and interesting descriptions of the 
relations and divisions of geographical science, as the Confer- 
ence define it, the most important sections of their report relate 
to the methods and means of presenting the subject in schools, 
and to the right order in developing it. The methods which 
they advocate require not only better equipped teachers, but 
better means of illustrating geographical facts in the school- 
room, such as charts, maps, globes, photographs, models, 
lantern slides, and lanterns. Like all the other Conferences 
on scientific subjects, the ninth Conference dwell on the im- 


, // 

portance of forming from the start good habits of observing / 
correctly and stating accurately the facts observed. They also\|'l 
wish that the instruction in geography may be connected with /* 
the instruction in drawing, history, and English. They believe / 
that meteorology may be taught as an observational study in 
the earliest years of the grammar school, the scholars being 
even then made familiar with the use of the thermometer, the 
wind-vane, and the rain-gauge ; and that it may be carried much 
farther in the high school years, after physics has been studied, 
so that the pupils may then attain a general understanding 
of topographical maps, of pressure and wind charts, of iso- 
thermal charts, and of such complicated subjects as weather 
prediction, rainfall and the distribution of rain, storms, and the 
seasonal variations of the atmosphere. ^Their conception of 
physiography is a very comprehensive one. In short, they""T 
recommend a study of physical geography which would em- 
brace in its scope the elements of half-a-dozen natural sciences, 
and would bind together in one sheaf the various gleanings 
which the pupils would have gathered from widely separated 
fields. There can be no doubt that the study would be interest- 
ing, informing, and developing, or that it would be difficult I 
and in every sense substantial. 

It already appears that the nine Conferences have attended 
carefully to three out of the five subjects which it was the 
intention of the National Council of Education that they should 
examine. They have discussed fully the proper limits of the 
several subjects of instruction in secondary schools, the best 
methods of instruction, and the best methods of testing pupils' 
attainments. The Conferences were equally faithful in dis- 
cussing the other two subjects committed to them by the 
Council, namely, the most desirable allotment of time for each 
subject, and the requirements for admission to college. 

The next subject which the Committee of Ten, following the 
guidance of the Conferences, desire to present to the Council is, 
therefore, the allotment of school time among the various 
subjects of stuHy! It is the obvious duty of the Committee, 
in the first place, to group together in tabular form the numer- 
ous suggestions on this subject made by the Conferences. 


th Y 

2 a 

g l 


2 2 



| =4 | CS 
o f 9 *J rt 



1 s I s ! 

ao *^ a 


e d, 


1 SI 

S j: 

1 51 

I a 




o o"S 




O I g = 

g EN ^< 




< "llllll 


12 wks 


5 s. 


O. 5- 


' . 2. 
c - 




^5 e- 


c s 


Ls' c = 


Si 1 ! 



a 2 rt 






4d SS * 

O O <r- . 


^5 co 

.Sb ^i- 




a e: 




o to 




a-3 ^ 


Having exhibited the programme-time suggestions of the Con- 
ferences, it will remain for the Committee to construct a 
flexible and comprehensive schedule of studies, based on the 
recommendations of the Conferences. 

The preceding table exhibits the demands for programme 
time made by all the Conferences. It will be seen at once that 
this table does not yield, without modification, a practical 
programme. The nine Conferences acted separately, and were, 
studying each its own needs, and not the comparative needs of 
all the subjects. It was not for them to balance the different 
interests, but for each to present strongly one interest. It will 
further be noticed that some of their demands are not specific, 
that is, they do not call for any specified number of recitation 
periods for a definite number of weeks during a stat^JtHiumber 
of years. The Conferences on Languages and History are 
the most definite in their recommendations, the Conferences 
on Mathematics and the Sciences being much less definite. 
Table I. is therefore not a programme, but the materials from 
which serviceable programmes may be constructed. 

The Committee of Ten deliberately placed in this one table 
the recommendations of the Conferences for the elementary 
grades and the recommendations for secondary schools, in order 
that the sequence of the recommendations for each subject might 
be clearly brought out. The recommendations made for the 
secondary schools presuppose in many cases that the recom- 
mendations made for the elementary schools haVe been ful- 
filled ; or, at least, in many cases the Conferences would have 
made different recommendations for the secondary schools, if 
they had been compelled to act on the assumption that things 
must remain just as they are in the elementary schools. 

At this point it is well to call attention to the list of subjects 
which the Conferences deal with as proper for secondary schools. 
They are: 1. languages Latin, Greek, English, German, 
and French, (and locally Spanish) ; '2. mathematics algebra, 
geometry, and trigonometry; 3. general history, and the 
intensive study of special epochs; 4. natural history in- 
cluding descriptive astronomy, meteorology, botany, zoology, 
physiology, geology, and ethnology, most of which subjects 
may be conveniently grouped under the title of physical 



geography; and 5. physics and chemistry. The Committee of 
Ten assent to this list, both for what it includes and for what 
it excludes, with some practical qualifications to be mentioned 

Table II. exhibits the totyl amount of instruction (estimated 
by the number of weekly periods assigned to each subject) to 
be given in a secondary school during each year of a four years' 
course, on the supposition that the recommendations of the 
Conferences are all carried out. 



Latin 5 p. 

English Literature, 3 p. ) 
" Composition, 2 p. > 

German or French ........ 4 p. 

Algebra op. 

History 3 p. 

22 p. 


Latin 5 p. 

Greek 5 p. 

English Literature, 3 p. ) 

" Composition, 2 p. > 
German 4 

5 p. 

French ........... 4 

Algebra,* 2* p. I - 

Geometry, 2$ p. > 

Astronomy (12 weeks) ..... 5 


Botany or Zoology 

5 p. 

History . .......... 3 p. 

* Option of book-keeping and commercial 


Latin 5 

Greek 4 

English Literature, 3 p. 

5 p. 

" Composition, 1 p. 
Rhetoric, 1 p. 

German 4 p 

French 4 p 

Algebra* 2\ p 

Geometry 2} p 

Chemistry 5 p 

History 3 p 

35 p. 

* Option of book-keeping and commercial 


Latin 5 p. 

Greek 4 p. 

English Literature, 3 p. ^ 

" Composition, 1 p. j ... 5 p. 

" Grammar, 1 p.^ 

German 4 p. 

French 4 p. 

Trigonometry, 2 p. yr. ) 2 

Higher Algebra, 2 p. } yr. ) 

Physics 5 p. 

Anatomy, Physiology, and Hy- 
giene, yr 5 p. 

History 3 p. 

Geol. or Physiography, 3 p. % yr. 
Meteorology, 3 p. yr. 

3 p. 


The method of estimating the amount of instruction offered 
in any subject by the number of recitation periods assigned to 
it each week for a given number of years or half years is in 
some respects an inadequate one, for it takes no account 
of the scope and intensity of the instruction given during 
the periods ; but so far as it goes, it is trustworthy and in- 
structive. It represents with tolerable accuracy the propor- 
tional expenditure which a school is making on a given 
subject, and therefore the proportional importance which the 
school attaches to that subject. It also represents roughly 
the proportion of the pupil's entire school time which he can 
devote to a given subject, provided he is free to take all the 
instruction offered in that subject. All experience shows] 
that subjects deemed important get a large number of weekly! 
periods, while those deemed unimportant get a small number.! 
Moreover, if the programme time assigned to a given subject 
be insufficient, the value of that subject as training cannot be 
got., no matter how good the quality of the instruction. 

Every one of these years, except the first, contains much 
more instruction than any one pupil can follow; but, looking 
at the bearing of the table on the important question of educa- 
tional expenditure, it is encouraging to observe that there are 
already many secondary schools in this country in which 
quite as many subjects are taught as are mentioned in this 
table, and in which there are more weekly periods of instruc- 
tion provided for separate classes than are found in any year of 
the table. In some urban high schools which provide from 
five to nine different courses of three to five years each, and 
in some endowed secondary schools which maintain two or 
three separate courses called Classical, Latin-scientific, and 
English, or designated by similar titles, the total number of 
weekly periods of unrepeated instruction given to distinct 
classes is even now larger than the largest total of weekly 
periods found in Table II. The annual expenditure in such 
schools is sufficient to provide all the instruction called for by 
Table II. The suggestions of the Conferences presuppose that 
L all the pupils of like intelligence and maturity in any subject 
study it in the same way and to the same extent, so long as 
they study it at all, this being a point on which all the 


Conferences insist strongly. No provision is made, therefore, 
for teaching Latin, or algebra, or history to one portion of a 
class four times a week, and to another portion of the same 
class only thrice or twice a week. Such provisions are very 
common in American schools; but the recommendations of the 
Conferences, if put into effect, would do away with all expend- 
itures of this sort. 

It clearly appears from Table II. that the recommendations 
of the Conferences on scientific subjects have been moderate so 
far as the proposed allotment of time to them is concerned. 
The Conferences on Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy, 
Natural History, and Geography held one combined session in 
Chicago, and passed a resolution that one-fourth of the whole 
high school course ought to be devoted to natural science, their 
intention doubtless being that each pupil should devote one 
quarter of his time to science ; yet if all the time asked for 
in secondary schools by the scientific Conferences be added 
together, it will appear, first, that the rare pupil who should 
take all the scientific instruction provided would need for it 
only one quarter of his time, and secondly, that less than 
one-sixth of the whole instruction to be given in accordance 
with the combined recommendations of all the Conferences is 
devoted to subjects of natural science. The first year of the 
secondary school course according to Table II. will contain no 
science at all ; and it is only in the last year of the secondary 
school that the proportion of natural science teaching rises to 
one-fourth of the whole instruction. 

In studying these two tables which result from the recom- 
mendations of the Conferences, the Committee of Ten perceived 
at once, that if the recommendations are to be carried out, so 
far as offering the instruction proposed is concerned, a selectionV 
of studies for the individual pupil must be made in the second, I 
third, and fourth years of the secondary school course. This 
selection will obviously be made in different ways in different 
schools. Any school principal may say, "With the staff at 
my command I can teach only five subjects out of those proposed 
by the Conferences in the manner proposed. My school shall 
therefore be limited to these five." Another school may be able 
to teach in the thorough manner proposed five subjects, but 


some or all of these five may be different from those Delected by 
the first school. A larger or richer school may be able to teach 
all the subjects mentioned, and by the methods and with the 
apparatus described. In the last case, each pupil, under the 
supervision of the teachers, and with the advice of parents or 
friends, may make choice between several different four-years' 
courses arranged by the school ; or, if the school authorities 
prefer, the pupil may be allowed to make year by year a care- 
fully guided choice among a limited number of subjects ; or 
these two methods may be combined. Selection for the indi- 
vidual is necessary to thoroughness, and to the imparting of 
po_w_e_r as distinguished from information ; for any large subject 
whatever, to yield its training value, must be pursued through 
several years and be studied from three to five times a week, 
and if each subject studied is thus to claim a considerable 
fraction of the pupil's school time, then clearly the individual 
pupil can give attention to only a moderate number of 

In Table II. the number of weekly periods assigned to a single 
subject varies from two to five, about half of the assignments 
being made for five periods a week. There is an obvious con- 
venience in the number five because it ordinarily gives one 
period a day for five days in the week ; but there is also an 
obvious disadvantage in making too free use of th6 number five. 
It practically limits to three or, at most, four, the number of 
subjects which the individual pupil may pursue simultaneously ; 
and this limit is inexpedient in a four years' programme. 

The Committee have therefore prepared the following modi- 
fication of Table II., using four as the standard number of 
weekly periods, except in the first year of a new language, and in 
the few cases in which the Conferences advise a number smaller 
than four. By this means the total number of periods is some- 
what reduced, except in the first year, and the numbers of 
periods allotted to different subjects are made more consonant, 
each with the others. The result is only a correlation and 
adjustment of the recommendations of the Conferences, no judg- 
ment or recommendation of the Committee being expressed 
in it. 




^atin 5 p. 

English Literature, 2p.' ) 
" Composition, 2 p. 4 

Jerman [or French] 5 p. 

v^Clgebra 4 p. 

listory of Italy, Spain, and France 3 ^p. 
Applied Geography (European po- 
litical continental and oceanic 
flora and fauna) 4 p. 



Greek ' 

English Literature, 2 p. 
' Composition, 1 p- 

Ihetoric, 1 p. 
German 4 p 

Trench 4 p 

Algebra,* 2 p. ) 
Geometry, 2 p. ' 
Physics ......... 

History, English and American 
Astronomy, 3 p. 1st 5 yr. ) 
Meteorology, 3 p. 2nd \ yr. > 

4 p. 

4 p. 

4 p. 
3 p. 

3 p. 

34 p. 

* Option of book-keeping and commer- 
cial arithmetic. 


Latin 4 p 

Greek 5 

English Literature, 2 p. ) 

" Composition, 2 p J ... 4 

German, continued 4 

^French, begun 5 

i Algebra,* 2 p. ) 

Geometry, 2 p. > 

^ Botany or Zoology 4 p. 

- English History to 1688 3 p. 



4 p. 

33 p. 

* Option of book-keeping and commer- 
cial arithmetic. 




English Literature, 2 p. 
" Composition, 1 p. 
" Grammar, 1 p. 


French , 

Trigonometry, ) 

Higher Algebra, > 


History (intensive) and Civil Govern- 

Geology or Physiography, 4 p. 1st 2 yr, 

Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene, 
4 p. 2nd \ yr. 

4 p. 
4 p. 

4 p. 

4 p. 
4 p. 

2 p. 
4 p. 

3 p. 


33 p. 

adoption of the number four as the standard number of 
weekly periods will not make it impossible to carry into effect 
the fundamental conception of all the Conferences, namely, 
that all the subjects which make part of the secondary school 
course should be taught consecutively enough and extensively 
enough to make every subject yield that training which it 
is best fitted to yield, provided that the proposed corre- 
lation and association of subjects are carried out in practice. 
With regard to the arrangement or sequence of subjects, the 
Committee follow in this table the recommendations of the 
Conferences with only slight modifications. They insert in 
the first year applied geography, using the term in the sense 
in which it is used by the Conference on Geography ; and they 


make this insertion in order that natural science may be repre- 
sented in the programme of that year, and that a complete break 
of continuity, as regards science subjects, between the eighth 
grade and the second year of the secondary school may be 
avoided. They have felt obliged to put physics into the third 
year, and chemistry into the fourth, in order that the subject 
of physics may precede meteorology and physiography ; and 
they have slightly increased the number of lessons in astronomy. 
With regard to the proportions of school time to be devoted to 
the different subjects, Table III. reduces somewhat the propor- 
/tional time devoted to Latin, English, and mathematics, and 
^ increases the proportional time to be devoted to natural science. 
In a secondary school which teaches all the subjects recom- 
mended by the Conferences, and to the extent contemplated in 
Table III., nearly one-fifth of the whole instruction given will 
be devoted to natural science. 

The Committee regard Table III. not, of course, as a feasible 
programme, but as the possible source of a great variety of 
good secondary school programmes. It would be difficult to 
make a bad programme out of the materials contained in this 
table, unless indeed the fundamental principles advocated by 
the Conferences should be neglected. With some reference to 
Table I., excellent six years' and five years' programmes for 
secondary schools can readily be constructed by spreading the 
subjects contained in Table III. over six or five years instead of 
four, of course with some changes in the time-allotment. 

The details of the time-allotment for the several studies 
which enter into the secondary school programme m#y seem to 
some persons mechanical, or even trivial a technical matter 
to be dealt with by each superintendent of schools, or by each 
principal of a secondary school, acting on his own individual 
experience and judgment ; but such is not the opinion of the 
Conimittee of Ten. The Committee believe that to establish 
t proportions between the several subjects, or groups of 
Hied subjects, on which the Conferences were held, it is 
essential that^each principal subject shall be taught thoroughly 
and extensively, and therefore for an adequate number of 
periods a week on the school programme^ If twice as much 
time is given in a school to Latin ^s is given .to mathematics, 




the attainments of the pupils in Latin ought to be twice as 
great as they are in mathematics, provided that equally good 
work is done in the two subjects ; and Latin will have twice 
the educational value of mathematics. Again, if in a secondary 
school Latin is steadily pursued for four years with four or 
five hours a week devoted to it, that subject will be worth 
more to the pupil than the sum of half a dozen other subjects, 
each of which has one sixth of the time allotted to Latin. 
The good effects of continuous study in one subject will be 
won for the pupil through the Latin, and they wilFnot be won 
through the six other subjects among which only so much time 
as is devoted to the single language has been divided. If every 
subject studied at all is to be studied thoroughly and consecu 
tively, every subject must receive an adequate time-allotment 
If every subject is to provide a substantial mental training, it 
must have a time-allotment sufficient to produce that fruit^ 
Finally, since selection must be exercised by or on behalf of the 
individual pupil, all the subjects between which choice is allowed 
should be approximately equivalent to each other in seriousness, 
dignity, and efficacy. Therefore they should have approxi-^ 
mately equal time-allotments. The Conferences have abun- 
dantly shown how every subject which they recommend can 
made a serious subject of instruction, well fitted to train 
il's powers of observation, expression, and reasiWH-ng. 
It remains for makers of school programmes to give every 
subject the chance of developing a good training capacity by 
giving it an adequate time-allotment. 

The schedule of studies contained in Table III. permits flexi- ' i 
bility and variety in three respects. First, it is not necessary 
that any school should teach all the subjects which it contains, 
or any particular set of subjects, Secondly, it is not necessary 
that the individual pupil should everywhere and always have the 
same number of periods of instruction per week. In one school 
the pupils might have but sixteen periods a week, in another 
twenty ; or in some years of the course the pupils might have . 
more periods a week than in other years. Within the schedule 
many particular arrangements for the convenience of a school, 
or for the welfare of an individual pupil would be possible. 
Thirdly, it is not necessary that every secondary school should 


begin its work at the level which is assumed as the starting point 
of secondary instruction in Tables I., II., and III. If in any 
community the high school has no such grammar school found- 
ation beneath it as is imagined in Table I. it will simply have to 
begin its work lower down in the table. The sequence of studies 
recommended by the Conferences would still serve as a guide ; 
but the demarcation between the elementary schools and the 
high school would occur in that community at a lower point. 
From this point of view, Tables I., II., and III. may be consid- 
ered to set a standard towards which secondary schools should 
iend ; and not a standard to which they can at once conform. 

The adoption of a programme based on Table III. would not 
necessarily change at all the relation of a school to the colleges 
or universities to which it habitually sends pupils. Any such 
programme would lend itself either to the examination method 
of admission to college, or to the certificate method ; and it 
could be slightly modified in such a way as to meet the present 
admission requirements of any college in the country. Future 
changes in admission requirements might fairly be made with a 
view to the capabilities of programmes based on Table III. 

As samples of school programmes constructed within the 
schedules of Table III., the Committee present the following- 
working programmes, whic}i they recommend for trial wherever 
the secondary school period is limited to four years. All four 
combined might, of course, be tabulated as one programme 
with options by subject. 

These four programmes taken together use all the subjects 
mentioned in Table III., and usually, but not always, to about 
the amounts there indicated. History and English suffer 
serious contraction in the Classical programme. All four 
programmes conform to the general recommendations of the 
Conferences, that is, they treat each subject in the same 
way for all pupils with trifling exceptions; they give time 
enough to each subject to win from it the kind of mental 
training it is fitted to supply ; they put the different principal 
subjects on an approximate equality so far as time-allotment is 
concerned; they omit all short information courses ; and they 
make sufficiently continuous the instruction in each of the main 


/ X 

lines, namely, | language, science, history and mathematics, i 

With slight modifications, they would prepare the pupils for 
admission to appropriate courses in any American college or 
university on the existing requirements ; and they would also 
meet the new college requirements which are suggested below. \ 

In preparing these programmes, the Committee were perfectly \ 
aware that it is impossible to make a satisfactory secondary I 
school programme, limited to a period of four years, and 
founded on the present elementary school subjects and methods. I/ 
In the opinion of the Committee, several subjects now reserved 
for high schools, -/such as algebra, geometry, natural science, 
and foreign languages, should be begun earlier than now^ 
and therefore within the schools classified as elementary ; or, 
as an alternative, N^he secondary school period should be made 
to begin two years earliej^than at present, leaving six years 
instead of eight for the elementary school period. Under the 
present organization, \elenientary subjects and elementary 
methods are, in the judgment of the Committee, kept in use 
too lona> 

The most striking differences in the four programmes will be 
found, as is intimated in the headings, in the relative amounts 
of time given to foreign languages. In the Classical pro- 
gramme the foreign languages get a large share of time; in the 
English programme a small share. In compensation, English 
and history are more developed in the English programme than 
in the Classical. 

Many teachers will say, at first sight, that physics comes too 
early in these programmes and Greek too late. One member 
of the Committee is firmly of the opinion that Greek comes too 
late. The explanation of the positions assigned to these sub- 
jects is that the Committee of Ten attached great importance to 
two general principles in programme making: In the first 
place they endeavored to postpone till the third year the grave 
choice between the Classical course and the Latin-Scientific. 
They believed that this bifurcation should occur as late as pos- 
sible, since the choice between these two roads often determines 
for life the youth's career. Moreover, they believed that it is pos- 
sible to make this important decision for a boy on good grounds, 
only when he has had opportunity to exhibit his quality and 


discover his tastes by making excursions into all the principal 
fields of knowledge. The youth who has never studied any 
but his native language cannot know his own capacity for 
linguistic acquisition ; and the youth who has never made a 
chemical or physical experiment cannot know whether or not /\ V 




Three foreign languages (one modern). 

Two foreign languages (one modern). 




5 p. 
4 p. 
4 p. 
4 p. 
3 p. 

20 p. 


4 V*' 

. 4 p. 


4 p' 

Physical G-eotrraohv 

. 3 P 

20 p. 


5 p. 

English . 

English .... 

*G<Muan [or French] begun . . 

. 3 p. 
. 3 p. 

German [or French] begun .... 

3 p. 
3 p. 
3 p. 

20 p. 


. 3 p. 
20 p. 

Botany or Zoology 



Latin ... 

4 p. 
3 p. 
4 p. 

4 p. 

3 p. 
2 p. 

20 p. 




. 3 IX- 

German [or French] 

Mathematics j Algebra 2 j 
1 Geometry 2 > 
Astronomy ^ yr. & Meteorology ^ yr. 

Ig^^ma^ | Algebra 2 ) 

. 4 p. 

20 p. 

i Geometry 2 > 


. 4 p. 


4 p. 
.4 p. 

3 p. 
8 p. 

3 p. 
20 p. 

. & p. 

English \ ils in C1:lssi( ' ;l1 2 ' 
i additional 2 ? 

3 P 

Tugottometry & Higher Algebra \ 

. 3 p. 
20 p. 

Trigonometry & Higher Algebra \ 
Histoiy ) 
Geology or Physiography | yr. 
Anatomy, Physiology, &Hygiene |yr. 

* In any school in which Greek can be better taught than a modern language, or in which 
local public opinion or the history of the school makes it desirable to teach Greek in an ample 
way, Greek may be substituted for German or French in the second year of the Classical 


he has a taste for exact science. The wisest teacher, or the 
most observant parent, can hardly predict with confidence a 
boy's gift for a subject which he has never touched. In these 
considerations the Committee found strong reasons for post- 
poning bifurcation, and making the subjects of the first two 

TABLE IV. (continued). 

Two foreign languages (both modern). 

French [or German] begun .... 5 p. 

English 4 p. 

Algebra 4 p. 

History 4 p. 

Physical Geography 3 p. 

20 p. 

One foreign language (ancient or modern). 

Latin, or German, or French 




. 5 p. 

. 4 p. 

, 4 p. 

. 4 p. 

Physical Geography 3 p. 

20 p. 


French [or German] 4 p. 

English 2 p. 

German [or French] begun . . . . 5 p. 

Geometry 3 p. 

Physics 3 p. 

Botany or Zoology 3 p. 

20 p. 

Latin,' or German, or French . . 5 or 4 p. 

English 3 or 4 p. 

Geometry 3 p. 

Physics 3 p. 

History 3 p. 

Botany or Zoology 3 p. 

20 p. 


French [or German] 4 p. 

English 3 p. 

German [or French] 4 p. 

Mathematics j A1 * ebra 2 } .... 4 p. 
i Geometry 2 ' 

Astronomy yr. & Meteorology 5 yr. 3 p. 

History 2 p. 

20 p. 

Latin, or German, or French 
English f^ in others 3, 

I additional 2 J ' 

Mathematics j "Algebra 2} 
( Geometry 2 ' 

4 p. 

5 p. 
4 p. 

Astronomy | yr. & Meteorology 5 yr. 3 p. 

History \ as in tlie Latm - Scientific 2 j. 4 p 
< additional / 2 J 

20 p. 


French [or German] 

as in Classical 2 ) 

additional 2 ' 

German [or French] 


Trigonometry & Higher Algebra 3 ) 


Geology or Physiography 5 yr. 

'Anatomy, Physiology, & Hygiene yr. 

3 p. 

4 p. 

4 p. 
3 p. 

3 p. 

3 p. 

Latin, or German, or French . . . 
English {as in Classical 2 | 
I additional 2 > 


Trigonometry & Higher Algebra . . 


Geology or Physiography \ yr. 

Anatomy, Physiology, & Hygiene yr. 

4 p. 

4 p. 
3 p. 

y P . 

."> p. 

20 p. 

20 p. 

years as truly representative as possible. Secondly, inasmuch 
as many boys and girls who begin the secondary school course 


do not stay in school more than two years.,- the Committee 
thought it important to select the studies of the first two years 
in such a way that linguistic, historical, mathematical, and 
scientific subjects should all be properly represented. Natural 
history being represented by physical geography, the Commit- 
tee wished physics to represent the inorganic sciences of 
precision. The first two years of any one of the four pro- 
grammes presented above will, in the judgment of the Com- 
mittee, be highly profitable by themselves to children who can 
go no farther. 

Although the Committee thought it expedient to include 
among the four programmes, one which included neither Latin 
nor Greek, and one which included only one foreign language 
(which might be either ancient or modern), they desired to 
affirm explicitly their unanimous opinion that, under existing 
conditions in the United States as to the training of teachers 
and the provision of necessary means of instruction, the two 
programmes called respectively Modern Languages and English 
must in practice be distinctly inferior to the other two. 

In the construction of the sample programmes the Committee 
adopted twenty as the maximum number of weekly periods, 
\J but with two" qualifications, namely, that at least five of the 
twenty periods should be given to unprepared work, and that 
laboratory subjects should have double periods whenever that 
prolongation should be possible. 

The omission of music, drawing, and elocution from the 
programmes offered by the Committee was not intended to 
imply that these subjects ought to receive no systematic 
attention. It Avas merely thought best to leave it to local 
school authorities to determine, without suggestions from the 
Committee, how these subjects should be introduced into the 
programmes in addition to the subjects reported on by the 

The Committee were governed in the construction of the 
first three programmes by the rule laid down by the language 
Conferences, namely, that two foreign languages should not be 
begun at the same time. To obey this rule is to accept strict 
limitations in the construction of a four years' Classical pro- 
gramme. A five years' or six years' programme can be made 


much more easily under this restriction. The Committee were 
anxious to give five weekly periods to every foreign language 
in the year when it was first attacked ; but did not find it 
possible to do so in every case. 

The four programmes can be carried out economically in a 
single school; because, with a few inevitable exceptions, the 
several subjects occur simultaneously in at least three pro- 
grammes and with the same number of weekly periods. ' 

Numerous possible transpositions of subjects will occur to 
every experienced teacher who examines these specimen pro- 
grammes. Thus, in some localities it would be better to trans- 
pose French and German ; the selection and order of science 
subjects might be varied considerably to suit the needs or cir- 
cumstances of different schools ; and the selection and order 
of historical subjects admit of large variety. 

Many subjects now familiar in secondary school courses of ] 
study do not f appear in Table III. or in the specimen pro- : 
grammes given above ; but it must not be supposed that the 
omitted subjects are necessarily to be neglected. If the recom- 
mendations of the Conference were carried out, some of the 
omitted subjects would be better dealt with under any one of 
the above programmes than they are now under familiar high 
school and academy programmes in which they figure as separ- 
ate subjects. Thus, drawing does not appear as a separate sub- 
ject in the specimen programmes ; but the careful reader of the 
Conference reports will notice that drawing, both mechanical 
and free-hand, is to be used in the study of history, botany, 
zoology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, geography, and 
physiography, and that the kind of drawing recommended by 
the Conferences is the most useful kind, namely, that which 
is applied to recording, describing, and discussing observa- 
tions. This abundant use of drawing might not prevent the 
need of some special instruction in drawing, but it ought to 
diminish the number of periods devoted exclusively to drawing. 
Again, neither ethics nor economics, neither metaphysics nor 
aesthetics appear in the programmes ; but in the large number 
of periods devoted to English and history there would be some 
tim. " " -n in the elements of these subjects. 

irriting required of pupils, or 
4 ' 


recommended to them, that the fundamental ideas on these 
important topics are to be inculcated. Again, the industrial 
and cjDmrnejrcial subjects do not appear in these programmes ; 
but book-keeping and commercial arithmetic are provided for 
by the option for algebra designated in Table III. ; and if it 
were desired to provide more amply for subjects thought to 
have practical importance in trade or the useful arts, it would 
be easy to provide options in such subjects for some of the 
science contained in the third and fourth years of the "English" 

The Committee of Ten think much would be gained if, in 
addition to the usual programme hours, a portion of Saturday 
morning should be regularly used for laboratory work in the 
scientific subjects. Laboratory work requires more consecutive 
time than the ordinary period of recitation affords ; so that an 
hour and a half is about the shortest advantageous period for 
a laboratory exercise. The Committee venture to suggest 
further that, in addition to the regular school sessions in 
the morning, one afternoon in every week should be used for 
out-of-door instruction in geography, botany, zoology, and 
geology, these afternoon and Saturday morning exercises being 
counted as regular work for the teachers who conduct them. 
In all laboratory and field work, the Committee believe that it 
will be found profitable to employ as assistants to the regular 
teachers, particularly at the beginning of laboratory and 
field work in each subject, recent graduates of the secondary 
schools who have themselves followed the laboratory and field 
courses ; for at the beginning the pupil will need a large amount 
of individual instruction in the manipulation of specimens, the 
use of instruments, and the prompt recording of observations. 
One teacher without assistants cannot supervise effectively the 
work of thirty or forty pupils, either in $he laboratory or 
in the field. The laboratory work on Saturday mornings could 
be maintained throughout the school year : the afternoon 
excursions would of course be difficult, or impossible, for 
perhaps a third of the school year. 

In general, the Committee of Ten have endeavored to empha- 
size the principles which should govern all secondary school 
programmes, and to show how the main recommendations of 


the several Conferences may be carried out in a variety of 
feasible programmes. 

One of the subjects which the Committee of Ten were directed 
to consider was req^nremejits_Ji^^ ; and 

particularly they were expected to report on uniform require- 
ments for admission to colleges, as well as on a uniform 
secondary school programme. Almost all the Conferences 
have something to say about the best mode of testing the 
attainments of candidates at college admission examinations; 
and some of them, notably the Conferences on History and 
Geography, make very explicit declarations concerning the 
nature of college examinations. The improvements desired in 
the mode of testing the attainments of pupils who have pursued 
in the secondary schools the various subjects which enter into 
the course will be found clearly described tinder each subject 
in the several Conference reports ; but there is a general 
principle concerning the relation of the secondary schools to 
colleges which the Committee of Ten, inspired and guided by 
the Conferences, feel it their duty to set forth with all possible 

I //" The secondary schools of the United States, taken as a whole, 
' I do not exist for the purpose of preparing boys and girls for 
|\ colleges. Only an insignificant percentage of the graduates of 
these schools go to colleges or scientific schools. Their main 
function is to prepare for the duties of life that small proportion 
of all the children in the country a proportion small in 
number, but very important to the welfare of the nation who 
show themselves able to profit by an education prolonged to 
the eighteenth year, and whose parents are able to support 
them while they remain so long at school. There are, to be 
sure, a few private or endowed secondary schools in the 
country, which make it their principal object to prepare students 
for the colleges and universities ; but the number of these 
schools is relatively small. A secondary school programme in 
tended for national use must therefore be made for those children 
whose education is not to be pursued beyond the secondary 
school. The preparation of a few pupils for college or 
scientific school should in the ordinary secondary school be the 


incidental, and not the principal object. At the same time, it 
is obviously desirable that the colleges and scientific schools 
should be accessible to all boys or girls who have completed 
creditably the secondary school course. Their parents often do 
not decide for them, four years before the college age, that they 
shall go to college, and they themselves may not, perhaps, feel 
the desire to continue their education until near the end of their 
school course. In order that any successful graduate of a good 
secondary school should be free to present himself at the gates 
of the college or scientific school of his choice, it is necessary 
'that the colleges and scientific schools of the country should 
accept for admission to appropriate courses of their instruction 
the attainments of any youth who has passed creditably through 
a good secondary school course, no matter to what group of 
subjects he may have mainly devoted himself in the secondary 
^/school. As secondary school courses are now too often 
arranged, this is not a reasonable request to prefer to the 
colleges and scientific schools ; because the pupil may now go 
through a secondary school course of a very feeble and scrappy 
nature studying a little of many subjects and not much of any 
one, getting, perhaps, a little information in a variety of fields, 
but nothing which can be called a thorough training. Now the 
I recommendations of the nine Conferences, if well carried out, 
O might fairly be held to make all the main subjects taught in the 
secondary schools of equal rank for the purposes of admission to 
.college or scientific school. They would all be taught consecu- 
tively and thoroughly, and would all be carried on in the same 
spirit ; they would all be used for training the powers of obser- 
vation, memory, expression, and reasoning ; and they would all 
be good to that end, although differing among themselves in 
quality and substance. In preparing the programmes of Table 
IV., the Committee had in mind that the requirements for 
admission to colleges might, for schools which adopted a pro- 
gramme derived from that table, be simplified to a considerable 
extent, though not reduced. A college might say, We will 
accept for admission any groups of studies taken from the 
secondary school programme, provided that the sum of the stu- 
dies in each of the four years amounts to sixteen, or eighteen, 
or twenty periods a week, as may be thought best, and 


provided, further, that in each year at least four of the subjects 
presented shall have been pursued at least three periods a week,/ 
and that at least three of the subjects shall have been pursued 
three years or more. For the purposes of this reckoning ^ 
natural history, geography, meteorology, and astronomy might 
l)e grouped together as one subject. Every youth who 
entered college would have spent four years in studying a few 
subjects thoroughly ; and, on the theory that all the subjects 
are to be considered equivalent in educational rank for the pur- 
poses of admission to college, it would make no difference 
which subjects he had chosen from the programme he would 
have had four years of strong and effective mental training. 
The Conferences on Geography and Modern Languages make 
the most explicit' statement to the effect that college require- 
ments for admission should coincide with high-school require- 
ments for graduation. The Conference on English is of opinion 
"that no student should be admitted to college who shows in 
his English examination and his other examinations that he is 
very deficient in ability to write good English." This recom- 
mendation suggests that an ample English course in the sec- 
ondary school should be required of all persons who intend to 
enter college. It would of course be possible for any college 
to require for admission any one subject, or any group of 
subjects, in the table, and the requirements of different 
colleges, while all kept within the table, might differ in 
many respects ; but the Committee are of opinion that the 
satisfactory completion of any one of the four years' courses of 
study embodied in the foregoing programmes should admit to 
corresponding courses in colleges and scientific schools. They 
believe that this close articulation between the secondary schools 
and the higher institutions would be advantageous alike for the 
schools, the colleges, and the country. 

Every reader of this report and of the reports of the nine 
Conferences will be satisfied that to carry out the improve- 
ments proposed more highly trained teachers will be needed 
than are now ordinarily to be found for the service of the 
elementary and secondary schools. The Committee of Ten 
desire to point out some of the means of procuring these better 


trained teachers. For the further instruction of teachers in 
actual service, three agencies already in existence may be much 
better utilized than they now are. The Summer Schools which 
many universities now maintain might be resorted to by much 
larger numbers of teachers, particularly if some aid, such as 
the payment of tuition fees and travelling expenses, should be 
given to teachers who are willing to devote half of their 
vacations to study, by the cities and towns which these 
teachers serve. Secondly, in all the towns and cities in which 
colleges and universities are planted, these colleges or univer- 
sities may usefully give stated courses of instruction in the 
main subjects used in the elementary and secondary schools 
to teachers employed in those towns and cities. This is a 
reasonable service which the colleges and universities may 
render to their own communities. Thirdly, a superintendent 
who has himself become familar with the best mode of teaching 
any one of the subjects which enter into the school course 
can always be a very useful instructor for the whole body of 
teachers under his charge. A real master of any one subject 
will always have many suggestions to make to teachers of 
other subjects. The same is true of the principal of a high 
school, or other leading teacher in a town or city. In every 
considerable city school system the best teacher in each depart- 
ment of instruction should be enabled to give part of his time 
to helping the other teachers by inspecting and criticising their 
work, and showing them, both by precept and example, how 
to do it better. 

In regard to preparing young men and women for the 
business of teaching, the country has a right to expect much 
more than it has yet obtained from the colleges and normal 
schools. The common expectation of attainment for pupils of 
the normal schools has been altogether too low the country 
over. The normal schools, as a class, themselves need better 
apparatus, libraries, programmes, and teachers. As to the 
colleges, it is quite as much an enlargement of sympathies as an 
improvement of apparatus or of teaching that they need. 
They ought to take more interest than they' have heretofore 
done, not only in the secondary, but in the elementary schools : 
and they ought to take pains to fit men well for the duties 


of a school superintendent. They already train a considerable 
number of the best principals of high schools and academies; 
but this is not sufficient. They should take an active interest, 
through their presidents, professors, and other teachers, in 
improving the schools in their respective localities, and in con- 
tributing to the thorough discussion of all questions affecting 
the welfare of both the elementary and the secondary schools. 

Finally, the Committee venture to suggest, in the interest 
of secondary schools, that uniform dates such as the last 
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or the third Monday, Tuesday, 
and Wednesday of June and September be established for 
the admission examinations of colleges and scientific schools 
throughout the United States. It is a serious inconvenience 
for secondary schools which habitually prepare candidates for 
several different colleges or scientific schools that the admission 
examinations of different institutions are apt to occur on 
different dates, sometimes rather widely separated. 

The Committee also wish to call attention to the service 
which Schools of Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Technology, 
whether connected w r ith universities or not, can render to 
secondary education by arranging their requirements for ad- 
mission, as regards selection and range of subjects, in con- 
formity with the courses of study recommended by the Com- 
mittee. By bringing their, entrance requirements into close 
relation with any or all of the programmes recommended for 
secondary schools, these professional schools can give valuable 
support to high schools, academies, and preparatory schools. 


4 December, 1893. 


President Baker signs the above report, but adds the 
following statement : 


I beg leave to note some exceptions taken to parts of the 
Report of the Committee of Ten. Had the Committee not 
been limited in time, doubtless fuller discussion would have 
resulted in modifying some statements embodied in the report. 
The great value of the reports of the Conferences upon the 
subjects referred to them, as to matter, place, time, methods, 
adequate and continuous work for each subject, and identity of 
work in different courses, and the masterly summary and tabu- 
lation of their recommendations, made by the Chairman of 
the Committee of Ten, can but invite cordial commendation. 
Objections are raised to parts of the special work of the 

1. I cannot endorse expressions that appear to sanction the 
idea that the choice of subjects in secondary schools may be a 
matter of comparative indifference. I note especially the fol- 
lowing sentences, referring the reader to their context for 
accurate interpretation. 

"Any school principal may say: 'With the staff at my 
command I can teach only five subjects out of those proposed 
by the Conferences in the manner proposed. My school shall, 
therefore, be limited to these five.' Another school may be 
able to teach in the thorough manner proposed five subjects, but 
some or all of these five may be different from those selected by 
the first school." 

" If twice as much time is given in a school to Latin as is 
given to mathematics, the attainments of the pupils in Latin 
ought to be twice as great as they are in mathematics, provided 
that equally good work is done in the two subjects ; and Latin 
will have twice the educational value of mathematics"." 

" The schedule of studies contained in Table III. permits 
flexibility and variety in three respects. First, it is not neces- 
sary that any school should tench all the subjects which it 
contains, or any particular set of subjects." 


" Every youth who entered college would have spent four 
years in studying a few subjects thoroughly ; and on the theory 
that all the subjects are to be considered equivalent in educa- 
tional rank for the purpose of admission to college, it would 
make no difference which subjects he had chosen from the 
programme he would have had four years of strong and 
effective mental training." 

All such statements are based upon the theory that, for the 
purposes of general education, one study is as good as 
another, a theory which appears to me to ignore Philosophy, 
1 Psychology and Science of Education. It is a theory which 
makes education formal and does not consider the nature and 
value of the content. Power comes through knowledge ; we 
can not conceive of observation and memory in the abstract. 
The world which offers to the human mind several distinct 
views is the world in which our power that comes through 
knowledge is to be used, the world which we are to understand 
and enjoy. The relation between the subjective power and the 
objective or subjective knowledge is inseparable and vital. 
On any other theory, for general education, we might well 
consider the study of Egyptian hieroglyphics as valuable as 
that of physics, and Choctaw as important as Latin. Second- 
ary school programmes can not well omit mathematics, or 
science, or history, or literature, or the culture of the ancient 
classics. An education which gives a view in all directions is 
the work of elementary and secondary schools. Such an 
education is the necessary preparation for the special work of 
the university student. If I rightly understood, the majority 
of the Committee rejected the theory of equivalence of studies 
for general education. 

Studies vary in value for the training of the different powers, 
and for this additional reason the choice can not be regarded 
as a matter of indifference. 

The training of " observation, memory, expression and 
reasoning" (inductive) is a very important part of education, 
but is not all of education. The imagination, deductive reason- 
ing, the rich possibilities of emotional life, the education of the 
will through ethical ideas and correct habit, all are to be con- 


sidered in a scheme of learning. Ideals are to be added to the 
scientific method. 

The dilemma which appears on an examination of the time 
demands of the various conferences offers to the programme 
maker the alternatives of omitting essential subjects and of a 
rational adjustment of the time element, while retaining all 
essential subjects. Reason and experience point toward the 
latter alternative. By wise selection of matter within the lines 
of study adequate and consecutive time can be given to each. 

2. The language of the second paragraph following Table II. 
might be misconstrued to mean that the Committee favor the 
multiplication of courses with a loss of the thoroughness attain- 
able when the teaching force is devoted to one or two courses. 
Intension rather than extension of effort, both in respect to the 
number of courses and in respect to the number of studies 
or topics under each principal subject, is to be strongly 
recommended . 

3. It may seem trivial to offer criticism of the specimen 
programmes made by the Committee, and yet I believe that 
each member felt that with ample deliberation results somewhat 
different would have been reached. Note for instance that in 
some of the programmes history is entirely omitted in the 
second year, and physics is given only three hours per week, 
no more time than is allowed for botany or zoology. There 
are many symmetrical secondary school programmes in actual 
operation today which furnish continuous instruction in all 
important subjects throughout the four years, allowing to each 
an amount of time adequate to good results. For most high 
schools the first, the Classical programme, and the last pro- 
gramme, the one offering one foreign language, will commend 
themselves because they are economical, and they combine a 
good finishing course with adequate college preparation. 

4. On the basis of the tabulated results of the Conferences 
I believe that by earnest scientific examination a scheme of 
work can be formulated that will meet the views of the mem- 
bers of the Committee and of most educators. As an after- 
thought it may be an occasion for regret that the strength of 
the discussion was not devoted to Table III. Instead of con- 


sidering the work of the Committee as ended, I would recommend 
that the National Council hold itself responsible for further 
examination of the data furnished by the Conferences. I have 
not presumed to offer a substitute report, because I believe that 
the importance of the work demands further effort of an entire 

Respectfully submitted, 






The Conference upon the subject of Latin respectfully submits the 
following report : 

In seven sessions of nearly three hours each the Conference 'dis- 
cussed all the questions suggested in the circular of instructions, 
except the last, respecting the proper limit between the preliminary 
and the final examination for admission to college ; and on most of the 
points -presented, as well as on several not suggested in the circular, 
arrived at unanimous or nearly unanimous conclusions, which will be 
found expressed in the Recommendations appended to this Report. t 

The first question considered was whether the requirements in 
Latin for admission to college ought to be increased. 

It would be a very desirable gain to the stud}' of Latin in our 
universities and colleges if the present standard of admission 
requirements could be raised ; and the experience of other countries 
would seem to indicate that a higher standard is feasible. But, in 
view of the just demands for more and better work in several other 
subjects of the preparatory course, it seemed clear to the Conference 
that no increase in the quantity of the preparation in Latin should be 
asked for. It is fully believed, however, that, through the careful 
choice of teachers, and the employment of better methods, a gain in 
the quality of the preparation can be secured without the expenditure 
of more time than is now generally given in the better schools. See 
Recommendations 1, 6, 11, and 14, at the end of this Report. 

Upon the subject first suggested in the memorandum of the Com- 
mittee of Ten, namely, the question of the age at which the study 
of Latin should be begun, a comparison of the customs existing in 
Europe and in this country will be suggestive. In the United States, 
the average age is about fifteen years, and probably above that 
number rather than below it. 1 In England and on the Continent the 

1 At some private and endowed public schools in this country, however, the 
age is not far from twelve. In Michigan, successful experiments have Ijeen 
made in introducing the study of Latin into the grammar-school ; and the trial 
is also being made in certain grammar-schools in Massachusetts. 


study is seldom begun so late as at the age of twelve, and much 
oftener between the ages of nine and eleven ; in other words, from 
four to six years earlier than with us. ^The reasons in favor of an 
early age are not far to seek. (1) Latin is a difficult language, and 
long stud}* is needed to make it yield its best fruits. (2) The rudi- 
ments of the subject, and in particular the forms, can be more easily 
and quickly mastered at an early age ; and, conversely, the study of 
these things constitutes a less agreeable and less suitable discipline 
for a mind that is becoming conscious of its powers. A radical 
change cannot be brought about in this country at once ; but it is 
hoped that such a modification of grammar-school courses can be 
made without delay as to render it possible that the high-school 
course, and with it the subject of Latin, may be begun not later 
than at the age of fourteen. See Recommendations 2 and 3. 

With regard to tfie number of years and the number of hours a 
week devoted to the study of Latin, the actual practice of the schools 
in this country varies greatly. In twenty-six representative schools 
having a four-year course, the aggregate of hours ranges from 580 to 
1,009 ; and, in fourteen schools having a course of five or six years, 
from 740 to 1,92s. 1 In the opinion of the Conference, Latin should 
claim about one-fifth of each school day, or fipe-Jjoars a week. This 
means a total of about 800 periods of fort3'-five or fifty minutes of 
actual work. If the course were to be one of five or six years, instead 
of four, the Conference would not recommend any diminution of the 
weekly allotment. The aggregate of 1,000 to 1,200 "hours" thus 
obtained, which might to some observers seem excessive, is much 
below the maximum amount already given in the fourteen representa- 
tive schools having a course of five or six }*ears, while it is identical 
with, or but little above, the average in those schools (viz., 1000 
hours), and much below the average in the schools of England, 
France and Germany. The explanation of the undeniable fact that, 
in the countries just named. Latin has been more successfully em- 
ployed than with us " as an instrument for training the mind to habits 
of intellectual conscientiousness, patience, discrimination, accuracy, 
and thoroughness, in a word, to habits of clear and sound think- 
ing," doubtless lies partly in the more liberal allowance of time. 
See Recommendations 3, 4, and 5. 

The answer to the tenth question put before the Conference, with 
regard to the best__method of testing attainments at the college 
examinations for admission, must turn mainly upon the general 

1 From statistics of forty representative schools gathered by the Committee 
of Ten. 

62 LATIN. 

character of the requirements held up before the schools. Up to 
the present timeAhe commoner form of requirement may be said to 
insist strongly upon the quantitative side/ A certain number of 
books of certain authors are to be read, or certain defined substitutes, 
supposed to be equal in quantity ; a certain number of lessons in some 
manual of Latin composition must be studied ; and a certain amount 
of Latin grammar must be learned. After a preparation controlled 
by this quantitative conception, the test applied by colleges that do 
not use the certificate system must necessarily be directed to ascer- 
taining what familiarity has been gained with the ground gone over. 
On the other hand, if the requirement be ability to translate "at 
sight " from Latin into English and from English into Latin, the~test 
must necssarily be one of power. Its object is to show what the stu- 
dent is now capable of doing ; and it may therefore fairly be called a 
qualitative test. It has distinct and great advantages. What the 
studient knows and what he can do is made manifest at once to the 
practised eye, and, on the other hand, ignorance and feebleness 
emerge with fatal clearness. " Cramming " is made nearly useless by 
it, and the steady gain of power becomes the student's necessary aim 
and sole means of salvation. Still, many shrink from adopting it as 
the sole test. The examination, they urge, may, especially in view of 
the fact that there are many students of mediocre natural gifts, but of 
faithfulness and staying powers, properly take account of the amount 
of work which the candidate covered, and of the thoroughness 
with which he has performed a fixed task, as a means of judging, in 
the rough, of his fitness for higher study. Yet the importance of 
devoting a good deal of attention to translation at sight is now 
universally acknowledged among the best teachers in school and 
college, and the recommendation (included in No. G) that transla- 
tion at sight_form a constant and increasing part of the examination 
for admission and of the work of preparation, is therefore regarded 
by the Conference as of especial moment. 

Intimately connected with the same subject is the question of the 
wrffingr r>f jjg.f.inj its place in the study of the language, the subject- 
matter to be employed, and the method of development to be adopted. 

The object is not the acquirement of the power for its own sake ; 
for this power, while once indispensable, is not to-day a necesshVv, nor 
even, for most men, an especially desirable accomplishment. The 
practice should be employed as a means, as a powerful instrument 
for gaining a penetrating insight into the structure, idiom, and spirit 
of the Latin language, both in its agreement with, and in its differ- 
ences from, the mother tongue. It is admitted, for example, that, in 
order to be able to read Latin, one must have a firm grasp of the 

LATIN. 63 

principles of Latin syntax. But the experience of many teachers has 
shown that this grasp is to be gained with much more certainty through 
writing Latin than in any other way ; and in this field, too, the stu- 
dent himself clearly sees the reasonableness and immediate utility of 
the same instruction which, when applied to a Latin text, often seems 
to him, and often is, needless and barren. Here, then, should fall 
the principal part of the syntactical instruction. And, for similar 
reasons, the writing of Lath: affords the best field for the master} 7 " of 
forms, of vocabulary, of idiom, and of order. 

The majority of the Conference is of the belief that, instead of 
being dissociated from practice in reading and translating, as it still 
so commonly is, practice in writing should be regarded as the obverse 
and counterpart of reading, and therefore should be carried on pari 
passu with it. In no other way can direct advantage be taken of the 
threads of association woven in the mind by the reading of an author, 
and in no other way can the subject-matter, in the earlier stages, be 
made so interesting and so practical. It follows that the basis of all 
sentences and passages set for translation into English in the pre- 
paratory schools should be found in the Latin texts read. And it is 
also evidently desirable that the portions of the text chosen should be 
limited, so limited, in fact, that thej^can gradually be committed to 
memor}', and preserved as a permanent store.- "This small treatise 
alone" says George Long, in the preface to his edition of the Cafo 
Major. " if thoroughly mastered, . . . would make a maa a good 
Latin scholar." 

The use of manuals of composition based upon a plan of exer- 
cises having no connection with the texts read, and arranged in arti- 
ficial sequence to illustrate S3 7 ntactical rules, ought accordingly to be 
discouraged. See Recommendation 11. 

The summoning of the Conference afforded a fortunate opportunity 
for the discussion of an important question not included in the mem- 
orandum, namely, ^what authors, and what parts of authors, should 
constitute the reading of the preparatory schools;/ Thus far, the 
colleges have in general left the schools very little liberty of choice. 
Three authors have been named by every college that prescribes set 
work. Of these three the easiest, or, as one should perhaps say, the 
least difficult, is Caesar. Hence it has come about that the Gallic 
War is very commonly used as the first reading-book in Latin. Our 
American schools are probably the only ones in the world of which 
this is true. The choice is an unfortunate one. The book is 
altogether too difficult for beginners ; it is too exclusively military in 
contents to be generally interesting ; its vocabulary is too largely 
restricted, from the nature of the subject, to marches, sieges, and 



battles, to afford the best introduction to subsequent reading; and, 
finally, it touches human life at too few points to be morally helpful 
and significant. The Conference therefore makes two recommenda- 
tions : first, that some easy reading, such as Gradatim, Eutropius, or 
the Viri Romae, be used as a transition from the introductory work of 
the beginner's book to the regular reading of a classic ; and second, 
that at least a portion of the time now usually given to Caesar be taken 
from him and given to Nepos. Against the " Livs" not one of the 
reasons urged against the use, or exclusive use, oTftle Gallic War can 
be brought. The objection that the Latinity of Nepos is inferior to 
that of Caesar would be of weight only in case the chief object in the 
earlier years of the study of Latin were the immediate production of 
writers of an elegant Latin style. No such fear is felt by German, 
French, and English school-masters, who have found, as have also 
various experimenters in this country, that the use of the books men- 
tioned above as bridges to and substitutes for Caesar contributes to 
the pleasure and progress of the student. See Recommendation 9. 

The Bucolics of Virgil constitute the least original, and, to the 
school-bo^T^e^st interesting, and most difficult, part of the poet's 
works. Their proper place is in an elective course for university 
students, in connection with the reading of Theocritus. It is advised 
that they be discontinued in the requirements for admission to college. 
See Recommendation 7. 

Some teachers of learning, experience, and skill have believed that, 
in what is called the inductive method, they have found a shorter and 
better way of learning Latin than has heretofore been devised. The 
saving of time and the attainment of a more exact scholarship, which 
are the ends they have set themselves to bring about, are certainly 
greatly to be desired. Perhaps some good has been done by the pub- 
lication of books calling attention strongly to a side of linguistic study 
which, even in the earlier years, should not be entirely ignored. But 
the Conference is of the opinion that/it is an error to erect into the 
sole controlling principle what should, in the nature of things, be 
subordinate./ On this subject, therefore, a word of caution seemed to 
nearly all rfe members to be desirable. See Recommendation 13. 

In the judgment of the Conference, the greatest defects now exist- 
ing in the instruction given in Latin in the schools are to be found in 
the elementary stages. It is a common practice to put the teaching 
of beginners into the hands of the youngest and most poorly paid 
teachers, that is to say, of those who have the slenderest equipment 
of knowledge and experience. The same thing is true in other^sub- 
jects ; but the danger seems to be especially great in Latin, partly 
because the field is so vast, covering as it does a great number and 

LATIN. 65 

variety of topics, and partly because it is so difficult to determine 
practically the best distribution and appropriation of time along the 
several lines of study. To competent knowledge the teacher must 
add the clearest and most definite conceptions of the relative import- 
ance and the lo^ical^seguence of topics, of the ends to be reached in 
each stage, and of the best methods of arriving at these ends. If, 
then, the results of the study of Latin often seem absurdly meagre in 
proportion to the time spent upon the subject, we must look for the 
cause very largely in the fact that, at the most critical point in his 
stud} 7 , the student is given over to an instructor of the least experience 
and knowledge. 

To describe in full the best method of teaching Latin throughout 
the course, as was suggested in the memorandum of your Committee, 
would require, the conversion of this Report irito a treatise. But a 
brief summary may be made of the things to do and the things to 
avoid, and a few definite suggestions may be offered under each of 
the former heads. 

The teacher of elementary Latin need not concern himself too 
much with the remojter ends of the study. To him the question should 
be : What knowledge is of prime importance, as the foundation for 
subsequent work? Stated generally, it may be said that the work of 
the first period should be (1) learning to pronounce accurate!}* and 
to read fluently and intelligently the Latin text of what has been 
studiecTf~(2) the mastery ofjnflection, so that number, case, person, 
mode, tense, etc., can be instantly recognized, and, conversely, can be 
formed without much hesitation by the student himself; (3) the acqui- 
sition of a working vocabulary of from one to two thousand words ; 

^ ~~ L * 

(4) the mastery of the oruer of the Latin sentence ; (5) the mastery 
of the simpler principles of syntax, regarded as a means of expres- 
sion ; (G) learning how to understand simple narrative in Latin; 
and (7) learning how to translate such narrative into true P^nglish. 
In necessary connection with the pui'suit of these aims, a good deal 
of training of the ear should be employed, through listening to the 
reading or speaking of the teacher; and, in addition, a certain 
amount of practice in turning English into Latin will be necessary, as 
an indispensable instrument for" fixing forms in the memory and. 
establishing a feeling for their syntactical powers. On the other 
hand, the things to be avoided are (1) a dispersion of effort in con- 
sequence of the attempt to include too many parts of the study in 
the first stage ; (2) an undue prominence of rules, and the treat- 
ment of syntax as an end in itself, rather than as an auxiliary to 
the penetration of the sense; and (3) the use of "translation 

66 LATIN. 

The more detailed suggestions that follow, under the head of 
the things to be dpne, apply in part, as will be seen, to the work 
of the later years of the preparatory course, as well as to the 

to emphasize the importance of a correct pronunciation of Latin 
from the very beginning of the study. A student who acquires 
the habit of pronouncing accurately in reading Latin prose will 
find little difficulty, and a genuine pleasure, in reading Latin verse. 
As practical aids to this end, the following suggestions are made 
with regard to certain peculiarities of the pronunciation of the 
Romans : 

(a) The long vowels received full length, not only in ultimas and 
penults, but in every syllable. (So, for example, the second a in 
amabamus should occupy about as much time in the utterance as the 
second in arnabam) . 

(b) An obstructed consonant (i. e., a consonant made more 
difficult to articulate fully, through being immediately followed 
by another, either in the same word or at the beginning of the 
next) was pronounced with a clearness and distinctness not known 
in similar cases in English, so that it occupied about as much time 
in the utterance as a short vowel. [A mute followed by a liquid, 
on the other hand, made a combination easy to pronounce both 
fully and rapidly, and so occupied no appreciable time in ordinary 
speech. In poetry, however, the first consonant was occasionally 
treated as obstructed, being pronounced as a distinct sound, out 
of combination]. 

(c) In verse, as in daily speech, a final vowel, before an initial 
vowel or vowel with h, was run as a glide into the next vowel. 

Without a knowledge of quantities (and, of course, not merely in 
penults and ultimas, but in all syllables), correct reading is, in the 
nature of things, impossible. Yet to acquire this knowledge by look- 
ing up every word in the dictionary is, to the young student, a labo- 
rious, and, relatively, an unprofitable task. He should learn his 
quantities b} r the easiest and most direct way, namely, by the guid- 
ance of eye and ear. Hence books prepared for the first two years 
of a four-year course should, in the text proper, as well as in the 
paradigms, notes, and vocabulan*, have the vowels long by nature 
marked (the unmarked ones being understood to be short) . And the 
teacher, from whom, by unconscious imitation, class after class will 
largely take it pronunciation, should not feel at liberty to be careless 
in his own practice. He will find rules to be of little value, and 
example to be all-important. 

LATIN. 67 

For the sounds of the letters, the following scheme is recom- 
mended : 

a as in. father. 

a like first a in aha (same quality as second but short) , first vowel in artistic 
(of course with no r sound). 

e like the English a-sound as heard in skein, cave, Cain, but without the van- 
ishing ee-element which ends the English sound. 

e as in net, bed. 

i as in machine. 

i as in pin. 

6 like the English o-sound heard in note, but without the vanishing oo-element 
which ends the English sound. 

as in the first syllable of obey and the second of melody. The sound is not 

the same as in not, dot. 
u as in rule. 
u as in pull. 

y like French u, German u. 
ae like ai in aisle. 
oe like oi in oil. 
au like oiv in how. 
eu by pronouncing both elements in rapid succession, a combination not 

occurring in English. 
ei as in skein (with the vanishing ee-element) . 

1 consonantal (sometimes printed/) like y in yet. 

ui occurs chiefly in huic and cui, which should be pronounced wheek, 

b, d, f, h, k, 1, m (not final), n, p, q, as in English, except that bs and bt 

should be pronounced ps and pt. 
c always like k. 
g always as in get ; gu like gw, when preceded by n and followed by a vowel; 

ng like English ng in anger. 
qu like English qu in quick, queen. 
r trilled with the tip of the tongue. 
s always as in sin; su like sw in suavis, suadeo, suesco, and in compounds 

ai\d derivatives of these words. 
z like z. (The evidence is as yet conflicting with regard to the sound of this 

consonant probably zd, or dz, though possibly z and for these 

reasons the English sound of z is for the present recommended). 
t always as in ten (never with the sound of sh, as in English creation}. 
v like w. 
x like ks. 
ph, th, and ch not as in English, but nearly like p, t, and k (strictly with a 

slight explosive sound, as heard at the end of English words, e. g., hop. 

hot, hock}. 

Final m preceding an initial vowel (or vowel with ft) should be pronounced as 
a faint nasal sound, the lips approaching the ordinary wi-position, but not touch- 
ing. The pronunciation before a consonant is doubtful, and, for the present, a 
change from the sound of English m is not recommended. 

68 LATIN. 

It is strongly recommended that abundant practice be given in the 
reading aloud of a continuous text already studied, which should be 
assigned in advance for the purpose, and carefully prepared. Not 
onl} 7 is this an excellent literaiy exercise, which will add much to the 
interest and sense of reality of the subject-matter, but it will also 
contribute greatly to a feeling for forms (since in Latin so much 
depends upon word endings) , and to a feeling for Latin order. 

In this reading, while care should of course be taken with the 
individual sounds, it must not be supposed that pronunciation is the 
onlj* or even the chief thing to aim at. The meaning of the text 
must not be subordinated to the sounds of the letters. The reader 
should endeavor to bring out the thought and literary art of his 
author, not onl}' by a clear and full and easily-moving utterance, but 
by the grouping of words that constitute a phrase, by the suggestion 
of balance or antithesis wherever they are found, by a hint to the ear 
where the thought of the writer points back to something that has 
been said, or forward to something that is about to be said, and by 
emphasis in the expression wherever there is emphasis in the 

In this exercise the teacher himself (of course after careful prepa- 
ration) should from time to time take part. And, whether it be the 
teacher or one of their own number who is reading, the pupils should 
be encouraged to try always to follow the sense by the ear alone, 
without the help of the book. 

2. FORMS. The mastery of forms is indispensable as a basis of any 
sound knowledge and of any progress, and, if not acquired in the 
first year, is very rarely acquired later. The method must, in the 
main, be two-fold translation ; first of single words, then of common 
combinations of adjective and noun, or pronoun and noun, or of all 
three; then of short phrases, as, e. 0., a verb and its object, an 
adjective, preposition, and noun, forming a phrase, etc. Particularly 
should dependence .made wholly or chiefly on the. repetition of 
tabulated forms. 

3. VOCABULARY. The mastery of the vocabulary of the language is 
a prodigious task. It confronts the learner at the outset, and it 
remains the last obstacle to be overcome. The fact seems not to be 
appreciated in elementary instruction, and accordingly many teachers 
think that text-books for the use of beginners should not contain 
more than a few hundred words, an error almost as great as to sup- 
pose that the words chosen should be largely taken from Caesar's 
Gallic War. It has already been said that this book is of too 
technical a character to constitute a good introduction to the reading 
of Latin ; and to plan the elementary work with especial reference to 


it is, therefore, to heap mistake upon mistake. Copiousness and 
variety should characterize the vocabulary of the introductory book, 
not only for the sake of subsequent reading, but because both are a 
necessary condition of any human interest in the exercises, oral and 
written, which are indispensable for practice in elementary study. 

Some suggestions for the easing of the young learner's task may 
be gathered from books that have appeared within a few years, (a) 
Special vocabularies attached to separate exercises or selections 
should in no case be committed to memory before the study of such 
pensa, but should be used for reference first, and memorized last of 
all; that is, words should be studied in a sentence before they are 
studied in isolation. Not only is the immediate tax upon the 
memory in this way lightened, but the impression made is more 
lasting, (fr) Related words should be grouped together as fast as 
they occur. Five words obviously related in form and meaning can 
more easily be learned and remembered than one word in isolation, 
(c) The comparison and discrimination of nearly synonymous words 
(to be made, however, only as they occur in the learner's actual 
experience in reading) aids by giving definiteness and individuality 
to each. (d) And, finally, the greatest auxiliary is the habit of 
constant observation of the different applications of the same word. 
Students seldom know more than one English rendering for a Latin 
word, or more than one Latin rendering for an English word, a 
state of things due in part to the want of the ha'bit just referred to, 
but in part also to an undue insistence, at the earliest stage of study, 
on the memorizing of the one particular meaning that happens to be 
given in the text-book. This memorizing of one meaning is, in fact, 
what many teachers mean by "mastering" a vocabular}*. 

4. SYNTAX. The study of syntax may well, in university work, be 
dealt with as a matter of special interest to the advanced student, and 
be offered in courses by itself. But for the student who is preparing 
for college it is merely an indispensable means to an end^, namely, the 
power to read. This statement by no means implies that it is to be 
treated carelessly and superficially \yy the teacher (for, if that be 
done, no real power to read can possibly be gained) , but only that it 
will be taught by him in the most helpful manner, if he will do the 
greater part of his syntactical questioning in connection witli exercises 
in which the student is trying to get at the meaning of a new sentence 
(i. e., in translation at sight or at hearing) and in connection with the 
writing of Latin (see 5 and 6 below). No attempt should be made, 
however, to master the entire apparatus at the outset. A further 
suggestion of considerable importance m:iy be offered. Where, as is 
constantly happening, a mistake in translation is due to a mistake in 

70 LATIN. 

syntax, the teacher should not be content with giving a correct trans- 
lation himself, or with asking some pupil to do it, but should always 
himself state, or ask some one in the class to state, what the Latin 
would be for the English actually given. If this is done, syntax is 
seen in its true light, as one of the means by which the w r riter ex- 
presses his thought : if it is not done, the syntax of a given passage 
seems a matter of indifference. 

5. ORDER. The importance of a genuine familiarity with Latin 
order can hardly be over-estimated. No one can really read Latin 
unless, whether consciously or instinctively, he is so familiar with the 
way in which the Roman arranged his sentences that it seems as 
natural to him as the English order. It will be a help if the teacher 
will frequent!}" point out whatever in this respect is noteworthy, and 
particularly if he will always, in working with his classes at the exer- 
cise of translation at sight, hold to the Latin order until he thinks 
that the thought has been grasped, not pass from one part of the 
sentence to another, to make out an English order. Much help will 
also be found in the exercise described under C below (at the end of 
the section) , and in the exercise of listening, without looking at the 
book, to the reading of a prepared text by the teacher or fellow-pupil. 
And students should also be encouraged to read over and over by 
themselves, without translating, Latin with which they have become 
familiar in the class-room. 

It is obvious that a proper Latin order should be insisted upon 
from the outset in all Latin written by the student. "English-Latin" 
should be as carefully avoided as the hybrid "Latin-English" too 
often accepted as translation. Equally important is it that the editors 
of elementary text-books should put before the student no Latin 
arranged in any other than a Latin order. 

student in one of the points most essential to the attainment of 
power tqjread, namely, in learning to understand his author in 'his 
author's tongue, will depend in a large degree upon the attitude of 
mind of his teacher. The latter should, from the very beginning, 
hold up the idea that the highest aim of Latin scholarship, on the 
literary side, is to be able to read Latin, as every competent scholar 
learns to read French and German, with a direct comprehension and 
eujo3 T ment of the very words written by the author, not of an English 
substitute made by the reader. The student should be taught to re- 
gard translation, not as a means of finding out what his author has 
said, but as, on the one hand, a way of making it clear to his instructor 
that he has understood, and, on the other, an exercise in expression, 
a literary exercise, in his own tongue. And finally, it should be 

LATIN. 71 

shown him that, even on the most practical grounds, to attempt to 
find out the meaning of a Latin sentence through translating it (as 
the common way is) is an operation almost sure to miscarry ; that 
the Latin, as in the case of a gf-clause, an w-clause, a cw?7i-clause, 
etc., often uses a single word as connective, where the English would 
employ one or another out of a large group (e. gr., for the ^-clause, 
"when," "just as," "although," "in order to," "so that"), and 
that to translate by anything whatsoever, before the complete evi- 
dence of the entire sentence has been had and the relation of part to 
part seen, is to run a very large risk of going astray at this point, and 
of being led still further afield in other points in the unconscious 
attempt to make them consistent with the first mistake. But the stu- 
dent, dealing with a language in which the form of the sentence is 
entirely new to him, is naturally prone to go astray in precisely this 
way. He should therefore constantly receive practical help. Practice 
in translating at sight, or more exactly, in understanding at sight, under 
\the instructor's eye and then translating, ought to be given daily, or 
/at least very frequently. In general, the best passage for the pur- 
Ipose will be the passage immediately following the lesson of the day, 
for the double reason that the student is familiar with the context, 
and that, when the additional exercise carries him straight on to his 
end, he feels the reality of his progress. The Latin should always be 
read aloud, sometimes by a student, sometimes by the master, before 
any translation is ventured upon. The master should stop the student 
here and there, if his way of reading shows that his grouping is wrong, 
or if any other indication proves that he has not understood ; and other 
pupils should be asked to correct him. Where a word is einplo}*ed to 
give notice in advance that something is coming, this should be made 
clear by the way of reading. Where a Latin word calls for some 
construction yet to come, to complete its meaning, and either of 
several constructions may be employed according to the exact shade 
of the author's thought (as, e. g. , dico may be followed by the interroga- 
tive subjunctive clause, or by the infinitive, or by an ut- or Tie-clause, 
according as the idea is of asking a question, or stating a fact, or 
giving a direction) , this range of possibilities should be pointed out 
(unless it has already been pointed out so frequently that the class 
has become familiar with it) ;. after which nothing further need be said 
when the completing construction, thus already foreseen as a possi- 
bility or certainty, is actually reached. Where there is danger of 
going astray through misapprehension of the syntax of a word, the 
construction (i. e., the force of the case, the mode, or the tense) 
should be asked for. No question upon construction should be put 
except} as a means of guiding the class to an understanding of the 



meaning of the Latin ; and consequently every question of this sort 
should precede the translation. 

When a sentence is manifestly easj 7 , and has probably been 
understood by the class, it is well to pass straight on without 
translating it. The^^^r^ater part of what is read will, however, 
require translation. 

The habit of trying to understand a sentence in the original, before 
translating, will be more easily acquired, if the teacher will from time 
to time put a new passage upon the board, a word or phrase at a time, 
or, better yet, read it aloud, calling attention as he goes along, by 
comment or question, to indications of meaning which would have 
guided a Roman, but asking for no translation until the whole pas- 
sage has been written or read. 

In the preparation of his dail} T lesson by himself, the student should 
be urged to study the Latin, in entire faithfulness to the aims stated 
above, in the order in which it is written, without any skipping about. 
The sentence should be read through once, twice, or, if necessary, 
three times in the Latin, with no reference to the making of a trans- 
lation, but with the mind fixed upon grasping the meaning directly. 
If the effort has in part failed, the student may then help himself by 
making a rough rendering of the sentence, word for word, still in the 
Latin order, and with great suspense of mind in the case of words 
that are capable of corresponding to a variety of phrases in English. 
This rough rendering, however, must be regarded as a mere tem- 
porary expedient, at the last resort, for getting at the meaning, not, 
of course, as translation into English. The preparation for the trans- 
lation to be given in the class-room is an entirely different exercise, 
and should be the last act of the preparation of the lesson. 

better exercise in English expression than the rendering of the thought 
of a Greek or Roman author into English idiom. The very difference 
of the two idioms increases the value of the exercise. But great loss 
is sustained by the student when, as is much too frequently the case, 
he is allowed to translate into a diction and idiom which have no exis- 
tence in actual English speech or English literature. Such phrases, 
e. g, as "this one, that one " (hie, ille), which are never heard outside 
the class-room, ought not be tolerated in it. For the sake of the 
clearer exhibition of the grammatical manner of expression in the 
Latin, it is well that the translation should correspond lo the original 
where the two idoms are identical, but no farther. Especial care 
should be taken to render the order oT development of the thought in 
the Latin, as shown by the order of the original, and the student 
should unhesitating^, where English idiom demands it, change the 

LATIN. 73 

active voice to the passive, and break a Latin sentence into as many 
English sentences as may be desirable. 

A higher ideal of translation than it is easy to attain by oral work 
alone may be set up in the minds of students, if a passage is occasion- 
ally assigned for carefully studied written translation, and if a number 
of the compositions thus produced are then read aloud, criticisms of 
style being asked for from the class, and special excellencies pointed 
out by the teacher. It is also a great help, if the teacher makes a 
practice of giving the best version of which he is capable, after. the 
lesson has been translated by the class, not allowing himself to inter- 
pose remarks, but translating fluently from the beginning to the end. 

In what has been said thus far, stress has been laid upon the mas-- 
tery of the mechanism of expression in Latin, the \iords, their 
forms^and syntactical^constructions, and the order in which they stand 
in the sentence. But, at the very outset, the student should be made 
to understand that these things are not ends but tools, and that the 
end is to gain, through the jreading of Latin, an insight into the 
thought and feeling of a people who have contributed very largely to 
make the life of the civilized world of to-day what it is. The Com- 
mentaries of Caesar, the Epic of Virgil, and the Orations of Cicero, 
commonly spoken of as subjects required for admission to college, 
are in reality masterpieces of literary style, and historical documents 
of first-rate importance. The teacher, from whose attitude of mind 
his pupils are likely to take their own attitude, will do well not to 
allow the burden of daily work and yearly repetition to lead him to 
set up a mechanical conception of Latin as a field for intellectual 
gymnastics, in place of the true conception of a vital literature, cap- 
able of exerting a strong attraction upon the }'oung student (for the 
most part possessed as yet of but a very slight vision of an}' world 
except that which is immediately about him), and of becoming a 
powerful influence for the training of his taste and the awakening of 
his intellectual ambitions. As a help to this true conception, it is 
recommended that a few books, dealing with the authors studied 
solely from the point of viow of their human and literary interest, be, 
if possible, made accessible to the student, such books, for example, 
as Froude's Caesar (Harper & Brothers), a book of perverted elo- 
quence, but helpful if corrected by tho next to be mentioned, For- 
syth's Cicero (Charles Scribner's Sons), Trollope's Cicero (Mac- 
millan), and Sellar's Virgil (Macmillan) ; to which should be added 
the articles on Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil in the Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica, together with Sellar's article on Roman Literature in the sam 
place, and Wilkins's Primer of Roman Literature (Macmillau). 

74 LATIN. 

The text of the formal expressions of opinion of the Conference 
follows : 

Recommendations of the Conference upon the subject of Latin. 

(1) The formal requirements in Latin at present prevailing for 
admission to representative colleges ought not, so far as quantity is 
concerned, to be increased. 

(2) Education below the high school course should be so organized 
that students may be prepared to enter upon that course at least a 
year earlier than, in most places, the} r now do. 

(3) The study of Latin should be begun, in a four-year course, 'not 
later than at the age of fourteen years, and at a correspondingly 
earlier age when the course is of five or six years' duration. 

(4) At least four years of study, with five recitation periods a 
week, of not less than forty-five minutes each, should be given to the 
study of Latin. 

(5) In case the course extends through five or six years, there 
should, in the interests of more thorough work, be no diminution of 
the time which has been suggested as a proper weekly allotment for 
a four-year course. 

v (6) While the Conference does not find itself yet prepared to 
declare that translation at sight from Latin into English, and from 
English into Latin, without examination upon the ground previously 
gone over, constitutes a complete and satisfactory 'test of the stu- 
dent's knowledge, as well as of the power he has gained, it strongly 
recommends that such twofold translation at sight form, a constant 
and increasing part of the examination for admission and of the 
work of preparation. 

(7) The Bucolics of Virgil ought henceforth to form no part of 
the requirements for admission. 

(8) In a four-3'ear course, four books of Caesar's Gallic War, or 
an equivalent, should be completed by the end of the second } T ear, 
and six orations of Cicero and six books of the Aeneid during the 
third and fourth 3^ears. The Conference makes no recommendation 
upon the question whether Cicero should precede Virgil, or Virgil 
Cicero ; but suggests that, if Cicero precede, four orations be 
read, then six books of Virgil, followed b3 r the remaining two 

(9) A portion of the Lives of Cornelius Nepos should be substi- 
tuted for a part or the whole of Caesar's Gallic War, and, as an 
introduction to the reading of these authors, such books as the 
Breviary of Eutropius, Gradatim, and Viri Romae, are strongly 

LATIN. 75 

(10) The subject of Latin should be treated in the same way, 
whether students intend to go to college, to a scientific school, or to 

/^(ll) The wanting of Latin should be carried on, throughout the 
preparatory course, concurrently with the reading of prose. The 
main training in syntax should be given in connection with work in 
writing Latin ; and, during the reading of the text, questions upon 
syntax should generally be confined to points in which a clear recog- 
nition of the nature of the construction is essential to the under- 
standing of the passage. The basis of the exercises in Latin 
cpmposition should be limited portions of the text of authors read, 
perhaps not more than forty or fifty pages. And, finally, the tests in 
writing Latin at admission examinations should be limited to the 
subject-matter of the authors studied in the preparatory course. 

(12) Elementary books for the study of Latin should contain no 
sentences written in an un-Latin order. 

(13) Except in unusually skilful hands, the so-called Inductive 
Method of teaching Latin should be used with extreme caution. 1 

(14) The importance of the elementary instruction in Latin should 
be emphasized, and the necessity of a high grade of scholarship in 
teachers of the lower classes should be strongly insisted upon. 

1 NOTE. On the general question here involved the chairman reserves his 
opinion, waiting for fuller experimental evidence from the schools, and from 
examinations for admission. 

WM. GARDNER HALE, Professor of Latin in 

the University of Chicago, Chairman. 
WM. C. COLLAR, Head-Master of the Ro^bury 

Latin School, Secretary. 
CHARLES E. BENNETT, Professor of Latin in 

Cornell University. 
FREDERICK L. BLISS, Principal of the Detroit 

High School. 
JNO. T. BUCHANAN, Principal of the Kansas 

City High School. 
"JOHN S. CROMBIE, Principal of the Adelphi 

JAMES H. DILLARD, Professor of Latin in 

Tulane University. 
WM. GALLAGHER, Principal of the Williston 

JOHN C. ROLFE, Acting Professor of Latin in 

the University of Michigan. 

JULIUS SACHS, Principal of the Collegiate In- 
stitute for Boys, New York City. 

* Mr. Crombie took an active part in the deliberations of the Conference, 
and later gave his assent to the Report as it here stands. His official connection 
with it was therefore concluded. His associates, however, desire to append a 
record of his untimely death on the 16th of April, 1803; and to express their 
deep regret at the loss of a colleague of singular thoughtfulness, tact, and charm. 



The Conference on Greek met with every member present at Ann 
Arbor, Michigan, December 28th, 29th, and 30th, 1892. 

In its discussions and recommendations the Conference has been 
guided by the existing conditions of the study of Greek in the schools 
and by the admission requirements of colleges, as well as by its 
desire to recommend some ideal plan of study. It is well known that 
the time and attention given to Greek vary greatly in different sec- 
tions of the country, so that a recommendation that is simply a state- 
ment of the existing conditions for schools in some sections may be 
for a school in a less favored community for the time an 
unattainable ideal. 

However unfortunate it may be thought, the fact remains that 
few schools will do more for their pupils in preparation for college 
than the college requirements for admission demand, BO that the col- 
lege determines in large measure the amount of work done in the 
school, as well as controls to some extent by the rigor or laxitj r of its 
entrance examinations the quality of the preparatory instruction. 

Influenced then by these considerations, the Conference has aimed 
to make recommendations that may tend to unify methods of the 
study of 'Greek in the different sections of the country. The Confer- 
ence would not have its recommendations regarded as restrictive in 
any sense ; it believes that under favorable conditions more can be 
accomplished than the amount proposed below (sees. II., III.) 
many schools are doing more to-day ; but the Conference recommends 
an amount of work that every school can do in the timfe proposed. 
Schools that are favored in the early training of their pupils and in 
other ways, can accomplish more. 1 

The following votes and recommendations were made by the Con- 
ference : 

Voted : That in making the following recommendations this Conference 
desires that the average age at which pupils now enter college be lowered 
rather than raised, and the Conference urges that no addition be made to 
the more advanced requirements in Greek now prescribed for admission to 

1 The statement of a headmaster of long experience will not be without 
interest, as showing the possibilities of increase in the amount of work done, 
without extra time or a sacrifice of thorough teaching. He says that some years 
ago his classes read three books of Homer in the senior year; as he received 
pupils better trained and secured better instruction, the amount read was 
increased to five books ; then to eight ; and he hopes in the same way to increase 
thp amount read still further. 

GREEK. 77 


The Conference recommends that the study of Greek be begun at least 
three years before the close of the course preparatory to college, and that 
to the subject be given five recitations per week, of at least forty-five 
minutes each, the first year, four recitations per week the second year, and 
four recitations per week the third year. 

It will be seen that the Conference recommends as a minimum 
school course in Greek about 490 recitation periods. Most schools 
in which Greek is studied during two years only, give 360-400 
recitation periods to the study, so that for such schools the time 
recommended amounts to an increase of little more than a half-year's 
work. It is believed by the Conference that this increase can be 
made in many cases without serious difficult}'. On the other hand 
this amount of time recommended as a minimum is less than the time 
already given in most schools where Greek is studied three years. 
Of twenty-five representative schools having three-year courses in 
Greek, two only give less than the minimum number o f hours pro- 
posed (490), while twelve devote to Greek 550 hours or more, one 
school giving 658 hours in three years. 

While the Conference recommends three years as the minimum 
time for the study of Greek in schools, it would not have a pupil 
begin to study the language without a knowledge of the elements of 
Latin ; so that the Conference would limit the study of Greek to two 
years in a school in which Latin is studied but three. 


The Conference recommends that the course in Attic Greek consist of 
four books of the Anabasis, or of two books of the Anabasis and an amount 
of the Hellenica, or of other Attic Greek, equivalent to two other books of 
the Anabasis. 

The members of the Conference urge that the Anabasis be no 
longer retained in our schools as the only text-book in Attic Greek ; 
they feel that as the events chronicled in the Anabasis had little 
effect on subsequent history, it is well for pupils to read more impor- 
tant works. The Hellenica, especially Books I. and II., has more 
historic value than the Anabasis, and the narrative portions of Thucy- 
dides may well be read in schools. The Conference believes that by 
such substitution of portions of the Helleuica and of Thucydides the 
pupil's interest in his work will be increased, and that better results 
can be obtained. 




The Conference recommends that three books of the Iliad, or its equiva- 
lent, four books of the Odyssey, be the prescribed work in Homer, sug- 
gesting that the Odyssey be preferred. 

The demand is being made in some quarters that Homer be no 
longer studied in schools, thus limiting the stud}' of Greek to the 
Attic dialect. While the Conference cannot favor this plan for 
schools in which Greek is studied during three years, and believes 
that the withdrawal of Homer from such schools would be a misfor- 
tune, it advises that schools which limit their courses in Greek to 
two years, make no attempt to teach Homer. 

The charge that Homer is poorly taught in the schools seems to 
the Conference an argument against poor teaching, not against the 
subject taught. No one proposes to remove English Composition 
from the list of school studies, and yet, if we can judge from 
current educational literature, men have great differences of opinion 
as to the best methods of teaching English Composition, as well as 
believe that there is much poor teaching of this subject. Poor 
instruction should be made the basis of attack upon the individual 
teacher who is at fault, or upon the wrong methods employed, not 
against the subject in which poor instruction is given. The Con- 
ference does recognize, however, that as a result of poor teaching a 
pupil may leave the preparatory school with neither the definite 
knowledge of Attic Greek that he can be expected to have, nor a 
clear understanding of the relation of the Epic to the later Classical 
language. This may come from an attempt to teach the pupil two 
dialects, whereas all instruction in Greek grammar and language 
should aim to fix in the pupil's mind by repetition and comparison 
some fundamental knowledge of Attic Greek. Homeric grammar, in 
the opinion of the Conference, is a subject for study in the College or 
University, not in the Preparatory School ; the Iliad and Odyssey of 
all books must be studied as literature ; sufficient instruction in the 
grammatical peculiarities of their language, however, should be given 
to insure a correct understanding of the text. (By continuing com- 
position and the reading of Attic texts throughout the course the 
Conference seeks to avoid neglect of the Attic dialect during the 
study of Homer. Sections IV. and VII.) 

It appears from the experience of members of the Conference, and 
of others, that the prospect of reading Homer is no small inducement 
to pupils to study Greek ; in schools where children have been en- 
couraged to read translations of Homer, the number beginning Greek 
has been considerably increased. The Homeric poems appeal to the 

GREEK. 79 

pupil's imagination and arouse his interest in the life and thought of 
the Greeks. It does not seem wise to the Conference to remove 
these works from the schools and thereby delay the time when pupils 
can begin their real acquaintance with the two greatest poems the 
Greeks have left us. If the study of Homer is relegated- to the 
college, many graduates of our schools, both those who do not go to 
college and those who fail to continue their Greek after entrance, will 
know nothing of Homer in the original and probably little through 

The Conference holds that the Odyssey is much to be preferred to 
the Iliad for school boys and girls. The Odyssey deals with fairy 
land, enchantment, and human effort : it is a story of the same class 
with, and can be compared to, the Arabian Nights and Robinson 
Crusoe. The Iliad, on the other hand, treats of deeds that belong to 
Gods and heroes, the conflicts seem far from us, and lack the human 
interest that Odysseus' adventures have. Young children read trans- 
lations of the whole Odyssey eagerly, but are interested in scattered 

episodes only of the Iliad. 


The Conference recommends that instruction in the translation of Eng- 
lish into Greek be based upon the Attic prose Greek read, and that simple 
exercises of this nature, both oral and written, based upon the lesson of 
the day, be frequently given; that some manual of "Greek Composition," 
in which connected discourse is employed and the subject of syntax is 
topically treated, be used ; and the Conference urges that the exercises in 
translation, into Greek be continuous throughout the preparatory course. 

It is well agreed, in theory, that Greek Composition is valuable as 
a means to secure the better understanding of the texts read, and there 
is no wide difference of opinion as to the desirability of basing exer- 
cises for translation on the Attic prose read, and of holding frequent 
exercises in re-translation. There is, however, great variety of 
practice : in some schools no exercises in re-translation are given 
after the first book ; in many schools pupils are required to use text 
books in which the sentences and longer exercises are based solely 
on the author's ingenuity and fancy ; and, furthermore, exercises in 
Greek Composition are neither taught by the instructor nor regarded 
by the pupil as a regular part of the school work but as an unfortu- 
nate and useless task devised by college teachers and inflicted by 
college entrance requirements. The Conference, therefore, wishes to 
emphasise the importance of Greek Composition, and urges that it be 
a part of each week's work. Each teacher must decide whether a 
portion of each recitation hour, or a separate hour each week, shall be 
given to such exercises. 

80 GREEK. 


The Conference recommends that in the reading of -the classical texts, 
the Geography, History, Mythology, and Antiquities connected with the 
subject matter read, receive proper attention. 


The Conference recommends that pupils be prepared for an entrance 
examination in reading simple Attic prose at sight, and the Conference 
suggests that as a substitute for an examination on a prescribed portion of 
Homer, an examination in Homer at sight, with questions on the passage 
set for examination, may be given. 

The Conference regrets that so few colleges through their entrance 
examinations encourage " reading at sight" in schools. Twenty-nine 
colleges only offer or require sight examinations for entrance ; but 
nine have sight examinations in Homer ; in two sight tests are the 
only ones required. As school work is little better than college 
requirements compel, the atnount of sight reading done in schools 
can be readily estimated. In most schools, it is true, spasmodic exer- 
cises are held, but comparatively few schools seem to regarcj " sight 
work " as an exercise to be constantly practised. 

It is quite evideut that pupils who have read only 1500 verses of 
Homer are not prepared for examination in Homer at sight ; but 
those who have studied 2500 or 3000 verses, and have been steadily 
trained in sight reading, should be allowed to take a sight examina- 
tion in place of an examination on a prescribed portion of the text, 
or as a supplement to it. 

(In recommending entrance examinations at sight and thereby the 
practice of sight reading in schools, the Conference wishes to avoid 
an overestimate of the value of such exercise, and does not urge its 
practice to the exclusion of carefully prepared work. A fuller state- 
ment of the views of the Conference on this subject will be found 
under section X.) 


The Conference recommends that the preliminary examination for col- 
lege be upon the essentials of grammar (forms and syntax) and four books 
of the Anabasis or its equivalent ; the final examination to be upon Attic 
prose at sight, Homer, and Greek Composition. 

The Conference does not favor any examination upon grammar 
apart from questions suggested by the text set for translation, and 
urges that the questions asked aira to determine the, applicant's 

GREEK. 81 

knowledge of the regular and more common inflections and construc- 

It is recommended that the examination in Greek Composition 
form part of the final examination, as the Conference believes that 
practice in translation into Greek should be continued throughout the 
school course. Since Attic Greek must be the basis of all gram- 
matical study of Greek in schools, it follows that the reading of 
Attic prose ought to be continued parallel with the work in Homer 
and in connection with the composition exercises. By this means a 
model for composition is secured by the pupil, and his knowledge of 
Attic Greek is increased both by the reading and by the comparisons 
drawn between the Homeric and Attic dialects. 


The Conference recommends that no difference be made in the treatment 
of Greek for the three classes of students named in the seventh question 
suggested by the Committee of Ten. 

Before making any recommendations as to methods of teaching 
Greek in the preparatoiy course, the Conference adopted the follow- 
ing statement as a definition of its conception of the purpose of the 
study of Greek in that course : 

The suggestions which the Conference has to make concerning methods 
of instruction in the preparatory course are primarily determined by its 
conception of what constitutes the distinctive work of this course. This 
work it conceives to be the teaching of the language of standard Attic prose 
through instruction in Attic grammar and reading of Attic texts, and the 
awakening of interest in the literature and thought of the Greeks through 
the reading of Homer. 


The Conference recommends that the work in Greek, preceding the 
reading of connected discourse, aim to secure for the student a mastery of 
the common forms of the language, facility in the use of as full a vocabu- 
lary as possible, and an acquaintance with the simpler principles of syntax. 

In the opinion of the Conference a thorough knowledge of the ordi- 
nary forms of Greek words can best be obtained by the use of some 
manual containing the more common paradigms, short and simple 
sentences for translation from Greek into English and from English 
into Greek, and also statements of the simpler principles of Greek 

82 GREEK. 

syntax. The Conference urges that written as well as oral work be 
constantly required iu the class room that both the eye and the ear 
may be appealed to in fixing firmly in the pupil's mind the forms of 
the language ; and that in all exercises special attention be paid to 
correct pronunciation of the Greek. This Conference cannot give its 
approval to any scheme for imparting a knowledge of Greek inflec- 
tions, which contemplates the learning of them from isolated examples 
as they chance to occur in the connected text of a classical author. 
It believes that any such attempt involves unnecessary difficulties 
that can be easily avoided by requiring pupils to memorise together 
those forms that are closely connected in form and meaning, as 
exhibited in the paradigms usually given in text books. The Confer- 
ence feels that as the time for fixing forms by repetition is limited, a 
logical and systematic order should be followed in their acquisition ; 
and while the Conference believes in the use of the reasoning powers 
and of inductive methods in teaching language, it cannot view with 
favor any effort to introduce into our schools Greek text books based 
exclusively on the so-called u Inductive Method." 

The Conference cannot urge too strongly that special attention be 
given to the acquisition of a vocabulary, and suggests that this may 
best be accomplished by a careful memorising of the vocabularies 
connected with the exercises and by a systematic study of groups of 
allied words. By a judicious selection of "root-words" and the 
mastery of the meaning of terminations, a vocabulary, adequate to 
the student's needs at this stage, may be acquired without much 
difficulty. Thus a necessary foundation for easy and rapid transla- 
tion will be laid, and the habit in the opinion of the Conference a 
very important habit will be established of associating related 
words in groups, instead of regarding them as isolated and discon- 
nected elements of the language. 

This introductory work in Greek should include also a study of 
the simpler and more common usages of syntax. While the Con- 
ference would not have grammatical knowledge considered in any 
sense as an end in the study of Greek, yet it does regard such 
knowledge as an essential means to an end, and therefore urges that 
it be not neglected during the introducton^ period of the study. The 
simpler constructions of the cases of nouns and of the moods and 
tenses of verbs should be stated in the manual placed in the hands of 
the pupil. These constructions should be made familiar by repeated 
reference to them ; but whatever is unusual, exceptional, or abstruse 
iu ay well be postponed to a later period of the study. In all this 
work the pupil should be encouraged to draw upon his knowledge of 
Latin syntax for illustration and comparison. 

GREEK. 83 


The Conference recommends that intelligent reading of the Greek text in 
class be regarded as an indispensable part of the work, and that for this 
careful preparation on the part of the student be required ; that reading 
aloud in the class by the teacher, as well as by the pupil, be employed as 
a means of training the ear, and of gaining ability to grasp readily the 
thought of a passage ; that from the outset sight translation go hand in 
hand with the prepared translation, and that for this purpose the text of 
the succeeding lesson or lessons be preferred to that of a separate work ; 
that there be also some translation from hearing, of both prepared and 
unprepared work ; that there be frequent practice in the reading at sight of 
easy passages of Greek without translation, and that, in order to be sure 
that the meaning of the passage is grasped, the pupil be required to state 
the substance of the passage read ; that translation of the Anabasis, or its 
equivalent, be begun, at latest, in the last half of the first year, idiomatic 
English being demanded, and the questions on the text being asked before 
or after the connected translation of the whole passage, preferably before. 

Reading of the Greek text is too often neglected in schools with 
the result that the average student on entering college cannot read a 
half-page of text intelligently. The reader's attention is so fully 
absorbed in his effort to pronounce the separate words that he gives 
little or no thought to the relation of the words in a sentence, or of 
the sentences in a paragraph. Indeed, it is not too strong a state- 
ment to say that the average pupil does not associate the reading of 
a sentence in Greek with the determination of the meaning of the 
same sentence ; to his mind these are two separate processes, whereas 
he should regard the reading of the text as a necessary means to the 
understanding of the passage read. Therefore .the Conference urges 
that reading of the text be constantly practiced by both teacher and 
pupil; that no attempt to translate any Greek " in advance " be 
made until the passage has been caref ull} T read ; and that teachers 
require from their pupils no less intelligent reading of the text than 
accurate translation of the same. 

Without underestimating the discipline which is gained from the 
study of Greek, or disregarding the training in English obtained by 
careful and studied translation, the Conference conceives that one of 
the chief objects in the study of any language is to secure for the 
student the power to appreciate the form and substance of that lan- 
guage. The facts of a literature can be translated, but the form, 
the something that makes every translation of Homer or Dante 
inadequate, cannot be alienated from its proper language. In the 
opinion of the Conference, therefore, the teaching of Greek from the 

1 '^M/fy^x. 



84 GREEK. 

first should aim to give the pupil, so far as possible, the ability to 
read and understand 'simple Greek as he reads. To obtain this 
power the student must, first of all, be supplied with a thorough 
knowledge of the common inflections and syntactical constructions of 
the language, and, secondly, he must gain skill in using this know- 
ledge by reading as large amounts of text as possible. Two exer- 
cises should be constantly employed : careful preparation of text by 
the pupil outside the class-room and reading and translation at sight 
in the class. The first increases the pupil's knowledge of the 
language and secures to him independence in working, while " sight 
work" in the class gives him a free opportunity to use the knowledge 
he has gained, stimulates his interest, and quickens his perceptive 
faculties, at the same time allowing the instructor to teach the best 
methods of approach and imparting to the learner a sense of increasing 
power, which last seems to the Conference a most important result. 

As stated above, the Conference believes that reading of the text 
should precede any attempt at translation, and it would have a clear 
distinction made between the determination of the meaning of a 
passage and its translation. If from repeated readings of the text 
the meaning of the passage in hand is not clear, the pupil should be 
taught to approach the passage in the order of the original, and to 
determine its meaning word by word by noticing the inflectional end- 
ings, the force of compounds, and the relation of ideas implied in the 
position of words and phrases. Only when the meaning of a passage 
has been fully grasped, should the pupil be allowed to attempt a 
translation, and then idiomatic English should be required. The 
Conference believes that if translation be kept distinct from the 
earlier process of ascertaining the meaning of a passage, and if in 
translation only the best English of which the pupil is capable is 
accepted, the translation dialect, with its injury to the mother-tongue, 
can be made to disappear. 

While reading at sight may fix knowledge already gained and gives 
skill in using such knowledge, it adds few new facts to the pupil's 
fund of knowledge. The meanings of words, new constructions and 
forms must be dwelt upon to be fixed in his memory. Therefore 
it is recommended that this sight practice be given on the passages 
which follow the day's lesson, and that the text read thus hastily 
form part of the succeeding day's work ; by this method the new 
facts presented during the sight reading can be fixed in the pupil's 
mind by his own study. 

As the teacher's main purpose in asking questions on the text is to 
obtain proof that the pupil understands the passage in hand and is 
prepared to translate it intelligently, the Conference advises that 

GKEEK. 85 

such questions be asked before translation is begun, and, since noth- 
ing can be devised to destroy all interest in the subject matter read 
more thoroughly than the habit of having a lesson translated in 
small portions of a few lines each, the translations interrupted with 
questions, with no uninterrupted translation of the whole, the Con- 
ference urges that during some part of each recitation hour a 
connected translation of the whole lesson be made. 


The Conference recommends that in the study of Homer attention be 
given from the beginning to the rhythmical reading of the text ; that the 
teaching of prosody be limited to instruction in the mast essential elements 
in the structure of the verse ; and that the pupil be taught to use the know- 
ledge already gained from the metrical reading of Virgil. 

To get an adequate appreciation of any kind of Greek poetry, it 
must be read rhythmically. This is especially true of the Homeric 
poetry, which was originally composed to be heard rather than read. 
The practice of translating Homer without reading the text in its 
metrical form ought not to be tolerated. The teacher of Homer 
should at the outset read the text to his pupils and enable them to 
appreciate the effect of a rhythmical recitation. The details of the 
structure of the verse will best be learned and remembered from 
constant practice in metrical reading. 

Voted : To concur with the Latin Conference in its recommendations as 
to the age at which the study of Latin should be begun. 

The above is respectfully submitted as the report of the Conference 
on Greek. 

(Signed.) MARTIN L. D'OOGE, Professor, University of 

Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., Chairman. 

CLIFFORD H. MOORE, Phillips Academy, An-^ 
dover, Mass., Secretary. 

E. W. COY, Principal of the Hughes High School, 
Cincinnati, 0. 

A. F. FLEET, Superintendent of the Missouri 
Military Academy, Mexico, Mo. 

ASHLEY D. HURT, Head Master of the High 
School, Tu lane University, New Orleans, La. 

ROBERT P. KEEP, Principal of the Free Acad- 
emy, Norwich, Conn. 

ABBY LEACH, Professor, Vassar College, Pough- 
keepsie, N. Y. 

WILLIAM H. SMILEY, Principal of the High 
School, Denver, Colo. 

derbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. 

BENJ. IDE WHEELER, Professor, Cornell Uni- 
versity, Ithaca, N. Y. 



The Conference on the Study of English has the honor to submit 
the following Report : - 

The Conference was called to order on Wednesday, December 
28th, 1892, at quarter of eleven A.M., by Professor Allen. Principal 
Thurber was elected Chairman and Professor Kittredge, Secretary. 
The Conference remained in session till half past three o'clock Fri- 
da}*, December 30th, when it adjourned sine die. Every member was 
present at the deliberations and took part in debate. The results 
embodied in the present Report were arrived at after much discus- 
sion, and represent in all but a few points of minor importance the 
unanimous opinion of the Conference. The subjects which the Con- 
ference thought were included in its commission are those usually 
taught in schools under the names of English Language, English 
Grammar, Composition, Rhetoric, and English Literature. Elocution 
appeared to lie outside of the subjects which the meeting was con- 
vened to discuss. 

The main direct objects of the teaching of English in schools seem 
to be two: (1) to^ enable the pupil to understand the expressed 
thoughts of others and to give expression to thoughts of his own ; 
and (2) to cultivate a taste for reading, to give the pupil some 
acquaintance with good literature, and to furnish him with the means 
of extending that acquaintance. Incidentally, no doubt, a variety of 
other ends may be subserved by English study, but such subsidiary 
interests should never be allowed to encroach on the two main pur- 
poses just indicated. Further, though it may be necessary to consider 
these main purposes separately in the Report or even to separate 
thorn formally in the statement of a programme, yet in practice they 
should never be dissociated in the mind of the teacher and their 
mutual dependence should be kept constantly present to the mind of 
the pupils. The recommendations of the Conference should all be 
interpreted in accordance with these general principles, which were 
never lost sight of in its debates. 

The recommendations of the Conference fall naturally into two 
divisions: (1) English in schools below the high-school grade, and 
(2) English in the high-school. 




If the pupil is to secure control of the language as an instrument 
for the expression of his thoughts, it is necessarj r (1) that, during 
the period of life when imitation is the chief motive principle in edu- 
cation, he should be kept so far as possible away from the influence 
oJLbad. models and under the influence of good models, and (2) that 
every thought which he expresses, whether orally or on paper, should 
be regarded as a proper subject for criticism as to language. Thus 
every lesson in geography or physics or mathematics may and should 
become a part of the pupil's training in English. There can be no 
more appropriate moment for a brief lesson in expression than the 
moment when the pupil has something which he is trying to express. 
If this principle is not regarded, a recitation in history or in botan}*, 
for example, may easily undo all that a set exercise in English has 
accomplished. In order that both teacher and pupil may attach due 
importance to this incidental instruction in English, the pupil's stand- 
ing in any subject should depend in part on his use of clear and 
correct English. 

In addition to this incidental training, appropriate special instruc- 
tion in English should form a part of the curriculum from the begin- 
ning. For convenience this special instruction may be considered 
under three heads : (a) "language" and composition, (6) formal or 
systematic grammar, (c) reading, or lessons in literature. 

A. " Language" and composition. During the first two years at 
school, children may acquire some fluency of expression by rej^rodu.- 
cing orally in their own words stories told them by their teachers and 
by inventing stories about objects and pictures. 

Not later than the first term of the third school-year children should 
begin to compose in writing. To assist them in overcoming mechan- 
ical difficulties (as of punctuation, the use of capitals, etc.), they 
should be required to copy and to write from dictation and from 
memory short and easy passages of prose and verse. 

From the beginning of the third to the end of the sixth school-year, 
" language-work " should be of three kinds : 

1. Oral and written exercises in the correct employment of the 
forms of the so-called "irregular" verbs, of pronominal forms, and 
of words and phrases frequently misused. 

2. Oral and written exercises in the most elementary form of com- 
position, that is, in the construction of sentences of various kinds. 
The matter out of which the sentences are to be constructed may, if 
necessary, be supplied by the teacher ; but the pupil should, from his 


earliest 3 T ears, be encouraged to furnish his own material, expressing 
his own thoughts in a natural way. The greatest care should be 
taken to make these exercises practical rather than technical and to 
avoid the errors of the old-fashioned routine method of instruction in 

3. The writing of narratives and descriptions. These exercises 
should begin with the third school-year and should be continued 
throughout the course. The subjects assigned should gradually in- 
crease in difficulty : in the seventh and eighth school-years, if not 
earlier, they may often be suggested by the pupil's observation or 
personal experience. The paraphrasing of poetry is not to be com- 
mended as an exercise in prose composition : it is often of value to 
require the pupil to tell or write, in his own words, the story of some 
narrative poem ; but the reducing of lyric poetry to prose is hardly to 
be defended. Pains should be taken, from the outset, to enlarge and 
improve the child's vocabulary by suggesting to him, for the expres- 
sion of his thoughts, better words than those he may himself have 
chosen. He should be trained to recognize when a sentence natur- 
ally closes, and should be warned against running distinct sentences 
together. He should also be trained to perceive the larger divisions 
of thought which are conventionally indicated by paragraphs. The 
teacher should bear in mind that the necessity of correctness in the 
formation of sentences and paragraphs is like the necessity of accu- 
rate addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in mathe- 
matical work, and that composition proper, the grouping of 
sentences and paragraphs, as well as development of a central 
idea, should never be taught until this basis of correct sentences is 

Spelling should be learned incidentally, in connection with every 
subject studied, and not from a spelling-book. 

Compositions and all other written exercises should receive careful 
and appropriate criticism, and the staff of instructors should be large 
enough to protect every teacher from an excess of this peculiarly 
exacting and fatiguing work. 

B. Formal or systematic grammar. Not earlier than the thirteenth 
year of the pupil's age the study of formal grammar, with drill in 
fundamental analysis, may be taken up. It should not be pursued~as 
a separate study longer than is necessary to familiarize the pupil with 
the main principles. Probably a single year (not more than three 
hours a week) will be sufficient. Subsequently, although gram- 
matical analysis (as an instrument of interpretation and of criticism) 
may properly accompany reading and the study of composition, it 
should not be regarded as a separate subject in the curriculum. 


The teaching of formal grammar should aim principally to enable 
the pupil (1) to recognize the parts of speech, and (2) to analyze 
sentences both as to structure and as to syntax. Routine parsing 
should be avoided, and exercises in the correction of false syntax 
should be sparingly resorted to. 

The study of word-analysis (etymology), including the subjects 
of root- words, prefixes, and terminations should not form a sepa- 
rate subject in the grammar-school course. All instruction in these 
matters should be incidental. 

With regard to the study of formal grammar the Conference wishes 
to lay stress on three points : (1) a student may be taught to speak 
and write good English without receiving any special instruction in 
formal grammar ; (2) the study of formal grammar is valuable as 
training in thought, but has only an indirect bearing on the art of 
writing and speaking ; and (3) the teaching of formal grammar 
should be as far as possible incidental and should be brought into 
close connection with the pupil's work in reading and composition. 
These principles explain the considerable reduction recommended by 
the Conference in the amount of time allowed to this study. 

C. Reading, or Lessons in Literature. Reading-books should be 
of a literary character and should not attempt to teach physical 
science or natural history. They should make very sparing use of 
sentimental poetry. 

From the beginning of the third year at school, the pupil should be 
required to supplement his regular reading-book with other reading- 
matter of a distinctly literary kind. At the beginning of the seventh 
school-year the reading-book may be discarded, and the pupil should 
henceforth read literature, prose and narrative poetry in about 
equal parts. Complete W-Qjks should usually be studied. When 
extracts must be resorted to, these should be long enough to possess 
a unity of their own and to serve as a fair specimen of an author's 
style and method. Children should be taught to read distinctly and 
with expression, but without exaggeration or mannerisms. They 
should be taught to comprehend the subject-matter as a whole and to 
grasp the significance of p-irts, as well as to discover and appreciate 
beauties of thought and expression. Due attention should be paid to 
what are sometimes thoughtlessly regarded as points of pedantic 
detail, such as the elucidation of involved sentences, the expansion 
of metaphors into similes and the compression of similes into meta- 
phors, the tracing of historical and other references, and a study of 
the denotation and connotation of single words. Such details are 
necessary if the pupil is to be brought to anything but the vaguest 
understanding of what he reads, and there is no danger that an Intel- 


ligent teacher will allow himself to be dominated by them. It should 
not be forgotten that in these early years of his training the pupil is 
forming habits of reading and of thought which will either aid him 
for the rest of his life, or of which he will by-and-by have to cure 
himself with painful effort. 

In the opinion of the Conference it is expedient that the English 
work during the last two years of the grammar-school course (includ- 
ing formal grammar, reading, and composition) should be in the 
hands of a speciaLliLC,her or teachers. But the appointment of such 
teacher or teachers should not be held to excuse the instructors in 
other subjects from the oversight of the English of their pupils. It 
is only by cordial cooperation in all departments that satisfactory 
results in this direction can be obtained. To the lack of such joint 
effort the present unsatisfactory condition of English study in the 
schools and colleges ma}' be in great part ascribed. 


The Conference is of opinion that the study of English should be 
pursued in the high-school for<five hours a week during the entire 
course of four years.7 This would make the total amount of available 
time not far from eight hundred hours (or periods) . 

The study of literature and training in the expression of thought, 
taken together, are the fundamental elements in any proper high- 
school course in English, and demand not mere!}" the largest share of 
time and attention but continuous and concurrent treatment through- 
out the four 3 T ears. The Conference therefore recommends the 
assignment- of three hours a week for four years (or 480 hours in the 
total) to the study of literature, and the assignment of two hours a 
week for the first two years, and one hour a week for the last two 
years (or 240 hours in the total) to training in composition. By the 
study of literature the Conference means the study of the works- of 
good authors, net the study of a manual of literary history. 

Rhetoric, during the earlier part of the high-school course, connects 
itself directly, on the one hand, with the study of literature, furnish- 
ing the student with apparatus for analysis and criticism, and, on the 
other hand, with practice in composition, acquainting the student 
with principles and maxims relating to effective discourse. For this 
earlier stage, therefore, extending through the first two years, no 
assignment of hours to rhetoric has been deemed advisable, and an 
assignmeiit of one hour a week in the third year (a total of 40 hours) , 
is thought sufficient for any systematic view of rhetoric that should 
be attempted in the high school. It will be observed, however, that 


if the teacher has borne in mind the practical uses of rhetoric in the 
first two 3'ears, he will have conveyed the essentials of the art (with 
or without references to a text-book) before the systematic view 
begins, so that this view will be a kind of codification of prinicples 
already applied in practice. 

The history of English literature should be taught incidentally, in 
connection with the pupil's study of particular authors and" works ; 
the mechanical use of %t manuals of literature" should be avoided, 
and the committing to memory of names and dates should not be 
mistaken for culture. In the fourth year, however, an attempt may 
be made, by means of lectures or otherwise, to give the pupil a view 
of our literature as a whole and to acquaint him with the relations 
between periods. This instruction should accompany, not super- 
sede, a chronologically arranged sequence of authors. In connec- 
tion with it a syllabus or brief primer may be used. 

To the subject of Historical and Systematic (or Formal) Grammar, 
one hour a week in the fourth year (a total of 40 hours) may be assigned. 

In the present state of text-books and teachers, the study of the 
History of English Language cannot, perhaps, be generally or even 
extensively introduced into the high schools. It is the opinion of the 
Conference, however, that certain parts of that study may be profit- 
ably undertaken during the last }'ear of the high-school course, and 
that some systematic knowledge of the history of the language is of 
value to the student who goes no farther than the high school, as well 
as to the student preparing for college. 

It is obvious that without a knowledge of Anglo-Saxon and Middle- 
English nothing can be accomplished by a study of the history of 
sound change as exemplified in derivation, word-composition, and 
inflections, nor can any great good come from an illustration of 
modern syntax through the syntax of stages of the language with 
which the student is unfamiliar ; but, although these important 
branches of the subject must necessarily be reserved to a later period, 
it appears evident that certain other branches of the study might be 
pursued to advantage even by pupils who have no knowledge either 
of the earlier stages of English or of any foreign tongue. The 
Conference has in mind the following topics : 

1. The History and Geography of the English speaking people, so 
far as these illustrate the development of the English language. 

2. Phonetics. Though we do not recommend any stud}' of details 
in the historical development of English spelling, we think it essential 
that every high school scholar should possess a clear idea of the 
general causes which have given English the peculiar value of its 
vowel symbols, and made them essentially different from the system 


of other languages. Such study would prevent, for example, acquies- 
cence in the common error of regarding the vowels in rid and ride as 
the short and the long of the same sound. 

3. Word- Composition. The historical study of inflections and of 
word-composition should not be included in this scheme. But some 
elementary treatment of prefixes and suffixes and of word-composition 
may come in incidentally. The purpose of including it, however, is 
rather to illustrate principles of historical development than to 
acquaint the pupil with a bod}' of details. 

4. Elements of the Eiiglish Vocabulary. This branch of English 
study is already pursued in some secondary schools as an independent 
subject, with the aid, perhaps, of such a book as Trench's " On the 
Study of Words " ; but the view of the Conference is that it would be 
better to include it as a part of a systematic treatment of the history 
of the language. The extent to which the stud}' of the sources of 
English words can be carried in any school or class will depend on 
the acquaintance the pupils possess with Latin, French, and German. 
This subject should be so pursued as to illustrate the political, social, 
intellectual, and religious development of the English race ; and the 
knowledge thus obtained will be profitable to youth only in propor- 
tion as it links itself with other knowledge derived from their general 
reading or from their other school work. 

5. Changes in the meaning of ivords. A systematic study of 
development in the meaning of words should not come in as a distinct 
part of this plan. Such study should however, of course, be included 
incidentally in the interpretation of literature. 

The teacher must of course be familiar with the more important 
facts of historical English grammar, and be able to use them in con- 
nection with the study of any branch of English, whenever they serve 
to explain difficulties or to fix grammatical principles. In addition 
to those parts of historical grammar that have been more specifically 
mentioned above, the following may be noted, as illustrations of the 
topics of this subject that may receive attention in high schools, so 
far as the advancement of the pupils in general linguistic study rend- 
ers it advisable, and so far as time and opportunit}' can be found for 
such work : dialects and literary language, authority and usage, 
decay of inflections. 

It is the opinion of the Conference that the best results in the 
teaching of English in high schools cannot be secured without the aid 
given by the study of some other language, and tnat Latin -and 
German, by reason of their fuller inflectional system are especially 
suited to this end. 


The. Conference wishes also to emphasize in the case of high-schools 
what has been already said with regard to schools of lower grade : 
that every teacher, whatever his department, should feel responsible 
for the use of good English on the part ofliis pupils. 

The question of requirements for admission to college was carefully 
considered by the Conference and a definite scheme of examinations 
devised for recommendation to American colleges. These recom- 
mendations concern all scholars in high-schools, for the Conference is 
of opinion that the high-school course in English should be identical 
forjjtudents who intend to go to college or to a scientific school, and 
for those who do not, and that the requirements in English for admis- 
sion to college or to a scientific school should be so adjusted as not 
to contravene this principle. The practice now too prevalent of main- 
taining one course in English for pupils who intend to go to college, 
another for candidates for admission to a scientific or technical school, 
and a third for pupils whose schooling ends with their graduation 
from the high-school, cannot be defended on any reasonable grounds. 
There is no good reason wh}^ one of these three classes of students 
should receive a training in their mother tongue different either in kind 
or in amount from that received by either of the other two classes. 

The Conference is also convinced that the cause of secondary 
education would be materially helped if the requirements for admission 
to college, in English as in other subjects, were to be made uniform 
in^kind throughout the countr}'. Uniformity in amount is certainly 
not practicable and probably not desirable. 

The specific recommendations of the Conference as to English 
requirements for admission to colleges and scientific schools are the 
following : 

1. That the reading of certain masterpieces of English literature, 
not fewer in number than those at present assigned by the Commission 
of New England Colleges, should be required. 

2. Each of these should be so far as possible representative of some 
period, tendency, or type of literature, in order that alternative 
questions like those suggested in 5 (below) may be provided. 
The whole number of these works selected for any year should 
represent with as few gaps as possible the course of English literature 
from the Elizabethan period to the present time. 

3. Of these books a considerable number should be of a kind to be 
read by the student cursorily and by himself. A limited number, 
however, may be read in the class-room under the immediate direction 
of the teacher. 

4. In connection with the reading of all these required books 
the teacher should encourage parallel or subsidiary reading and the 


investigation of pertinent questions in literary history and criticism. 
The faithfulness with which such auxiliary work is carried on should 
be constantly tested by means of written and oral reports and class- 
room discussion, and the same tests should be applied to the 
required books read cursorily (see 3). 

5. The Conference doubts the wisdom of requiring, for admission 
to college, set essays (e. g., on the books prescribed, as above, 1), 
essay's whose chief purpose is to test the pupil's ability to write 
English. It believes that there are serious theoretical and practical 
objections to estimating a student's power to write a language on the 
basis of a theme composed not for the sake of expounding something 
that he knows or thinks, but merely for the sake of showing his ability 
to write. 

Therefore, so long as the formal essay remains a part of the admis- 
sion examination, it is recommended that questions on topics of 
literary history or criticism, or on passages cited from prescribed 
works, be set as an alternative. These topics and passages should be 
such as (1) to bring out the knowledge of the pupil with regard to 
the subjects suggested in 4, and (2) to test his ability to methodize 
his knowledge and to write clearly and concisely. The questions set 
should be so framed as to require answers of some length. 1 

6. The Conference is of opinion that in the hands of any but a 
highly intelligent teacher exercises in the correction of bad English 
may do more harm than good. And therefore the Conference believes 
that the correction of specimens of bad English should not form a 
considerable part of the admission examination, 2 though it is not 
prepared to recommend the exclusion of such specimens. Care 
should be taken that those selected are really offences against good 
English (not merely against good style) and, further, that they are 
such offences as experience has shown young writers are prone to 
commit. Obscure sentences and nonsensical or puzzling combina- 
tions of words should be avoided. 

7. The admission of a student to college so far as English is con- 
cerned, should be made to depend largely on his ability to write Eng- 
lish as shown in his examination-books on other .subjects (such as 
history). If the candidate's translations from foreign languages are 
used for this purpose, the examiner should remember that vagueness 
and absurdity in such translations often result from ignorance of the 
foreign language rather than from incompetent knowledge of one's 
mother tongue, and that, further, the art of translation is a very 
difficult art even to a writer who is at home in both the languages 

1 Not less than a page of the examination-book. 

2 Say not more than one-fifth. 


concerned. A student who in general writes well enough may, from 
either or both of these causes, appear to very poor advantage in an 
exercise in translation. 

8. Though it is clear that the power to write a language can be ob- 
tained only by unremitting practice, yet, in the opinion of the Con- 
ference, such practice may properly be accompanied and illustrated 
by a course in elementary rhetoric. This course should include not 
only the principles of clearness, force, and good taste, but the princi- 
ples of the arrangement of clauses in the sentence and of sentences 
in the paragraph. The teacher should bear in mind that any body 
of written English, of whatever length, is an organic unit, with prin- 
ciples that appl} r as well to the arrangement of the minor elements as 
to the grouping of the larger divisions of essay or book. Especial 
care should be taken that rhetoric is not studied by itself or for its 
own sake. Its connection with the pupil's actual written or spoken 
exercises should be kept constantly in view. The Conference there- 
fore does not contemplate an examination in formal rhetoric as a 
requirement for admission to college. 

9. There should be no division of the admission examination in 
English. When a college or scientific school allows a division of 
admission requirements into "preliminary" and "final," English 
should be a " final" subject. 

10. The relative importance of the English language and literature 
as a subject among other requirements for admission to college is 
about one in six ; but the Conference feels strongly that no student 
should be admitted to college who shows in his English examination 
and in his other examinations (as in 7) that he is very deficient in 
ability to write good English. 

May 13th, 1893. 

SAMUEL THURBER, Master of the Girls High 
School, Boston, Mass., Chairman. 

vard University, Cambridge, Mass., Secretary. 

EDW. A. ALLEN, Professor, University oj 
Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 

F. A. B ARBOUR, Principal Michigan State Normal 
School, Ypsilant"', Mich. 

F. A. BLACKBURN, Professor, University of 
Chicago, Chicago, III. 

C. B. BRADLEY, Professor, University of Cali- 
fornia, Berkeley, Gal. 

FRANCIS B. GUMMERE, Professor, Haverford 
College, Pa. 

EDWARD E. HALE, JR., Professor, University 
of Iowa, Iowa City, la. 

CHARLES L. LOOS, JR., High School, Dayton, 0. 

WM. H. MAXWELL, Superintendent of Schools, 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 


CABKIDGE. M.irch 11, 1893. 

Gentlemen, The Conference on Modern .anguages, which met 
i Washington on the 28th, 29th, and 30i of December, 1- 

ubmits the following report. 

C. II -r.ENT, Chairman. 


1. Wherever thoroughly competent teaches can be secured, we 
re of the opinion that there should be introdced into the grammar 
chools an elective course in German or Freeh, open to all pupils 
'ho have arrived at the fourth year from I ifl <up posed 
lat the average boy or girl will reach this .n^e at the age of ten. 
^e make the above recommendation, not wh a view to separa* 

t such an early period, the scholars who ar> likely to enter a high 
3hool or college from those who are to recive only elementary in- 
:ructiou, but in the firm belief that the ediui.onal effects of modern 
inguage study will be of immense benefit ) all who are al>le to 
ursue it under proper guidance. It will \\\\\ tlit-ir memory and 
evelop their sense of accuracy; it will quictoi and >tivngthen 
jasoning powers by offering them, at every <-p. problems that : 
e immediately solved by the correct appi ;i<n of the n-sul' 
leiv own observation ; it will help them 1 tand th<- structure 

f the English sentence and the real inea lln-l'isli words ; it 

ill broaden their minds by revealing to thei thought and 

jpression different from those to which tU Mave ln-cn a<-<-uM<>nic<l. 
he stud)* of Latin appears, it is true, i !f>i-nt these same ad- 
intages ; but living languages seem to u- iaptod to grainmar 

;hool work, both on account of the gi> with which they can 

3 taught and learned, and because of thir closer relation to the 
iterests and ideas of to-day. 

2. We believe that children should, if p*sible T begin their studv 
f German or French by the time they a; in years old. At that 
2je their perceptions are acute, their vocn o"rgans are still llexihle, 
id they are comparatively free from th& morbid fear of ridicule 
hich impedes their progress in later \ eai ; consequently they are 
?le to acquire a tolerably correct prouuciation and make some 
3adway in the practical use of the laizuage. Moreover, their 
terest is easily kindled, and they ai to imbibe the life and 


spirit of a foreign tongue. We do not on the other hand, recommend 
the introduction of German or French earlier than the fifth school 
year, because we fear that if it were begun sooner, it would necessa- 
rily be broken off before the end of the grammar school course ; and 
any interruption of the modern language study should, in our opinion, 
be carefully avoided. 

3. In places where it is as yet impossible, through lack of teachers 
or of money, to include a modern language in the grammar school 
curriculum, we believe that^E^ench or German should form, from the 
very first, a part of the high school course y it is essential that pupils 
should study at least one language long enough to reach some degree 
of maturity in it. If, however, classes are obliged, for any reason, 
to begin Latin or Greek on entering the secondary school, we recom- 
mend that the study of French or German be postponed a twelve- 
month ; for we regard as entirely inexpedient' the introduction of 
two foreign languages in the same year. When a minimum of French 
or German is offered as a supplement to a curriculum comprising two 
other foreign languages, the last language should be taken up in the 
third year. 


4. In the grammar grade we recommend that during the first year 
five recitation periods per week be given to the modern language ; 
during the second, at least; four; and during each of the other two 
years, at least three. To be successful, the study of a new language 
should present a sufficient number of weekly exercises to enlist and 
hold the full interest of the pupils. In the case of young children, 
especially, it is found that more is accomplished by short but frequent 
lessons than by longer ones at greater intervals. 

5. For the high school we make the following recommendations, 
which refer, of course, only to modern languages : (a) the first 
foreign language studied should be taken up at once and carried on, 
with four recitations a week, through all four years ; (b) the second 
foreign language studied whether the first be ancient or modern 
should be begun the second year and continued; with four exercises 
per week, through the rest of the course ; ~(c) the third foreign lan- 
guage studied whatever be the nature of the other two should be 
introduced in the third year and pursued, with three lessons weekly, 
during the last two years. In the third case the suggestion of 
three hours a week for two years, rather than five recitations weekly 
for one year, is made with a view to avoiding too much pressure 
during the last year, when the pupil is most likely to be overworked, 
and a new subject is in greatest danger of being slighted ; under 



different circumstances five exercises per week for one year might, 
in our opinion, give somewhat better results than three hours weekly 
for two. 

6. It will be seen that we take for granted a high school course of 
four years and a primary and grammar school course extending over 
at least eight years. The following table shows at a glance the pro- 
posed number of modern language recitations per week during the 
different years mentioned in the preceding paragraphs : 

SCHOOL YEAR: 1st. 2d. 3d. 4th. Slh. 6th. 7th. 8th. 
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS First Language : 5433 

SCHOOL YEAR : 1st. 2d. 3d. 4th. 
f Maximum J First Language : 4444 

SECONDARY SCHOOLS] < Second Language : 4 4 4 

j^ Minimum, 1 Third Language : 3 3 

In general the two maximum courses in secondary schools are sup- 
posed to cover the same ground : it is thought that the facility gained 
by the previous study of another language will compensate for the 
loss of one year. But where the elementary schools offer a German 
or a French course, we intend that the first language studied in the 
high school shall be the same one that was begun in the grammar 
grade ; and in this case the first maximum will comprise more than 
the second. 


7. According to our best judgment, all pupils of the same intelli- 
gence and the same degree of maturity should be instructed alike, 
no matter whether they are subsequently to enter a college or scien- 
tific school, or intend to pursue their studies no further. 

I. Grammar Schools. 

8. It is expected that during the first two years the lessons will 
consist of interesting but systematic oral exercises, combined with 
the use of pictures and the reading of very elementary texts. The 
mass of knowledge thus acquired will, in the other two years, be 
classified, extended, and fixed in the memory by means of a larger 
amount of reading and a more formal study of grammatical principles. 
It is hoped, however, that oral work will not be neglected during any 
part of the course. The objects to be attained in these four years 
fire : (a) a good pronunciation ; (b) ability to understand very easy 
German or French when it is spoken ; (c) ability to read, without 
painful effort, simple stories in the foreign language ; (d) ability to 
construct short German or French sentences, applying the elementary 


rules of grammar. It is the opinion of the Conference that such a 
course as we have outlined would, in the hands of a competent 
teacher, produce results of permanent value, whether the study be 
considered as a means of mental training or as a foundation for 
further work in the same line. 

II. High Schools. 

9. In the following paragraphs the term "elementary" will be 
applied to. the first half of the maximum courses and to the entire 
minimum course (see 6) ; the second half of the maximum courses 
will be called " advanced." The numbers of pages specified below 
are intended to include not only prepared work but all sight reading 
done in the class. Our recommendations are practically the same as 
those of the Commission of Colleges in New England on Admission 
Examinations. We are in favor of a course of study that will pro- 
duce the following results : 

10. In Elementary German. (a) Familiarity with the rudiments 
of grammar, and especially with these topics : the declension of arti- 
cles, adjectives, pronouns, and such nouns as are readily classified ; the 
conjugation- of weak and of the more usual strong verbs; the com- 
moner prepositions ; the simpler uses of the modal auxiliaries ; the 
elementary rules of syntax and woriLorder. (b) Ability to translate 
at sight a passage of easy prose containing no rare words. It is 
believed that the requisite facility can be acquired by reading not less 
than two hundred duodecimo pages of simple German, (c) Ability 
to pronounce German and to recognize German words and easy 
sentences when they are uttered. 

11. Li Advanced German. (a) Proficiency in more advanced 
grammar. In addition to a thorough knowledge of accidence, of the 
elements of word-formation, and of the principal values of prepo- 
sitions and conjunctions, the scholars must be familiar with the 
essentials of German syntax, and particularly with the uses of modal 
auxiliaries and the subjunctive and infinitive modes. (6) Ability co 
translate ordinary German. It is thought that pupils can acquire 
'this ability by reading, in all, not less than seven hundred duodecimo 
pages, (c) Abilitj* to write in German a paragraph upon an assigned 
subject chosen from the works studied in class, (d) Ability to follow 
a recitation conducted in German and to answer in that language 
questions asked by the instructor. 

12. In Elementary French. (a) Familiaritj' with the rudiments 
of grammar, and especially with these topics : the conjugation of 
regular and the more usual irregular verbs, such as dire, faire, and 
the classes represented by ouvrir, dormir, connaltre, conduire, and 


crainclre ; the forms and positions of personal pronouns ; the use of 
other pronouns and pronominal adjectives ; the inflection of nouns 
and adjectives for gender and number, excepting rare cases ; the 
partitive constructions. (b) Ability to translate simple prose at 
sight. It is believed that the requisite facility can be acquired by 
reading not less than four hundred duodecimo pages from at least 
three dissimilar works. (c) Ability to pronounce French and to 
recognize French words and easy sentences when they are uttered. 

13. In Advanced French. (a) Proficiency in more advanced 
grammar. In addition to a thorough knowledge of accidence and of 
the values of prepositions and conjunctions, the scholars must be 
familiar with the essentials of French syntax especially the use of 
modes and tenses and with the more frequently recurring idiomatic 
phrases, (b) Ability to translate standard French. It is thought 
that pupils can acquire this ability b}' reading, in all, not less than 
one thousand duodecimo pages, (c) Ability to write in French a 
paragraph upon an assigned subject chosen from the works studied in 
class, (d) Ability to follow a recitation conducted in French and to 
answer in that language questions asked by the instructor. 

14. The ability to translate at sight expected in each grade of 
French is greater than that required in the corresponding grade of 
German. The texts used in the elementary courses should consist 
of ordinary nineteenth century prose, judiciously varied with such 
short pieces of poetiy as the teacher may select. In the advanced 
courses all the reading matter should be of high literary value. The 
study of classical works should be reserved until the pupil can 
read with ease every-day modern prose. If, however, the language 
has been taken up in the grammar school, the high school standard 
can be considerably raised, and some classical authors should be 
introduced at an early stage. 


15. The following recommendations are borrowed, in the main, 
from the Synopsis of French and German Instruction for 1890 in 
the high schools of Boston, Mass. : 

16. In modern language courses the efforts of teachers are naturally 
directed mainly toward enabling pupils to translate French and Ger- 
man at sight, and, ultimately, to read these languages without the in- 
terposition of English. In order to gain the necessary vocabulary, a 
great deal of ground must be covered : reading must, therefore, be 
rapid. A mistaken idea of " thoroughness" may cause the waste of 
much valuable time. Sight translation should begin at the very out- 


set of the first year's course, and should always form an important 
part of the work ; it should proceed as briskly as possible, the teacher 
lifting beginners over hard places, and showing them how to find 
their own way through the rest. All passages of an abstruse or 
technical nature should be skipped, or translated by the instructor : 
not a moment should be lost in contending with difficulties that have 
no necessary connection with the language. Frequent reviews of 
reading-matter are not to be recommended : the students' time can 
nearly always be spent much more profitably on new texts, which 
have the advantage of stimulating fresh interest and of enlarging the 
vocabulary. As long as English versions are made, teachers should 
insist upon idiomatic English. Pupils often think that their foreign 
author is " silly : " this opinion is generally due to the fact that they 
see him only through the medium of their own stilted or meaningless 
prose. Every endeavor should fye made to interest scholars in the 
subject-matter, to make them regard their text-books as literature, 
not as language-mills ; if a story or play moves in an unfamiliar 
sphere, the surroundings (including the influence of foreign customs 
and ideas) should be briefly but intelligibly explained beforehand ; 
references to things unknown to the class should be made clear ; the 
beginnings and ends of lessons should coincide with natural breaks in 
the narrative. 

17. The chief object of our modern language courses is, as has 
been said, the ability to read French and German ; but to do this 
reading intelligently, the student must know more than the definitions 
of the words he sees ; he must be able to imagine the phrases coming 
from the lips of a Frenchman or a German he must know how they 
sound to a native hearer, and how they put themselves together in the 
mind of a native speaker. Something that approaches this knowledge 
can be acquired by practice in pronunciation, conversation, and 
composition. The translation into the foreign language of carefully 
graded sentences, based on the texts read, should be carried on from 
the very beginning ; and as early as possible connected passages 
should be used, in order to cultivate good habits in the choice of 
connectives and the construction of sentences. Aside from set con- 
versational exercises, the foreign language should be used as much as 
possible in the class-room. In the first year the pupil can catch b} r 
ear the names of familiar things and many common phrases ; during 
the second he ought to form sentences himself ; and in the third the 
recitations should, if the instructor has a practical command of French 
or German, be conducted mainly in that language. In teaching 
foreign sounds great care must be taken lest the scholar confirm him- 
self in bad habits : uncorrected pronouncing is as bad as none. As 


often as may be, the beginners should speak the sentences immedi- 
ate^ after the teacher ; a very little careful practice of this kind will 
do more good than any amount of original pronunciation by the pupil. 
The reading aloud of the French or German text should, in the lower 
classes, follow rather than precede the translation ; otherwise it will 
be done blindly. 

18. A thorough acquaintance with the leading facts of grammar 
is, of course, a necessary element in the acquisition of a foreign 
tongue. Grammatical abstractions should, however, not be forced 
upon the pupil too early. Difficulties can best be overcome by taking 
them one at a time. In studying language the three enemies that the 
novice must encounter are pronunciation and spelling, vocabulary, 
and grammar : singly they can be mastered ; united they are likely 
to prove too strong. High school teachers are, therefore, advised, 
during the first third of the beginners' } T ear, to devote the recitation 
hour mainly to sight reading, calling attention to the most important 
points of grammar as they occur. For his prepared lessons the 
scholar would meanwhile be learning by heart the inflections of the 
language, and repeating the translations made in the class. The 
rules of grammar and the exercises illustrating them should not be 
formally studied until the pupil has, by some three months' reading, 
gained a little insight into his French or German. Grammar exercises 
consisting of German or French sentences to be translated into Eng- 
lish are to be done with the books closed, the scholar repeating the 
original sentence after the teacher, and then turning it into English. 

19. In recommending the above course, we do not wish to be 
understood as implying disapproval of the so-called "natural method," 
which has, under favorable conditions, been pursued with marked 
success by teachers peculiarly adapted to that kind of instruction. 
We do not believe, however, that such methods can be generally 
applied . 


20. It is our opinion that college requirements for admission should 
coincide with the high school requirements for graduation, as de- 
scribed in 10-13. If the college examination is divided, we re- 
commend that the preliminary test cover our elementaiy, and the 
final our advanced course. 

21. An examination in elementary French or German ought, in 
our judgment, to consist of : (a) the translation at sight of a passage 
of ordinary difficulty from the foreign language into English ; and 
(b) the turning into French or German of simple English sentences 
immediately illustrative of the first principles of grammar, the vocab- 


ulary of these sentences to be taken, as far as possible, from the 
foreign text set for translation. 

22. As a test in advanced French or German we suggest : (a) the 
translation at sight of a passage of high literary quality from the 
foreign language into English ; and (6) the turning into French or 
German of a connected passage of simple English prose. 


23. The recommendations we have made for French and German 
apply also to Spanish and to any other modern language that may be 
introduced into high or grammar schools. 


24. The 1 worst obstacle to the progress of modern language study 
is the lack of properly equipped instructors. There seems to be at 
present no institution where persons intending to teach German, 
French, or Spanish in our elementary or secondary schools can re- 
ceive the special preparation they need. It is the sense of the Con- 
ference that universities, states, or cities should provide opportunities 
for such training. 

CHARLES H. GR AND GENT, Director of Modern 
Language Instruction in the Public Schools, 
Boston, Mass., Chairman. 

WILLIAM T. PECK, Principal of Latin School, 
Providence, R. I., Secretary. 

JOSEPH L. ARMSTRONG, Professor, Trinity 
College, Durham, N. C. 

T. B. BRONSON, Lawrenceville School, Lawrence- 
mile, N. J. 

ALPHONSE N. VAN DAELL, Professor, Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass. 

CHARLES HARRIS, Professor, Oberlin College, 
Oberlin, Ohio. 

SYLVESTER PRIMER, Professor, University of 
Texas, Austin, Texas. 

JOHN J. SCHOBINGER, Principal of Harvard 
School, 2101 Indiana Avenue, Chicago, III. 

I. H. B. SPIERS, William Penn Charter School, 
8 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 

WALTER D. TOY, Professor, University of North 
Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 


March, 1893. 


Sir, The undersigned, having been appointed by your Committee 
to hold a Conference on the subject of secondary instruction in Mathe- 
matics, have the honor to report that such Conference was held on 
the 28th, 29th, and 30th of December, 1892, in Cambridge, Mass. 

On mapping out its work, the Conference found that the general, 
subject of secondary mathematics might be convenient!} 7 considered 
under four different heads. It is deemed advisable to preface 'the 
separate reports on each of these heads with a general statement of 
the conclusions reached b} T the Conference. The following five 
reports are therefore submitted : 

I. General statement of conclusions. 
II. Special report on the teaching of arithmetic. 

III. Special report on the teaching of concrete geometry. 

IV. Special report on the teaching of algebra. 

V. Special report on the teaching of formal geometry. 

Very respectfully, 

SIMON NEWCOMB, Professor, Johns Hopkins 

University, Baltimore, Md., Chairman. 
WILLIAM E. BYERLY, Professor, Harvard 

University, Cambridge, Mass., Vice Chairman. 
ARTHUR H. CUTLER, Principal of a Private 

School for Soys, 20 East 50th Street, New 

York City, Secretary. 
FLORIAN CAJORI, Professor, Colorado College, 

Colorado Springs, Colo. 
HENRY B. FINE, Professor, College of New Jersey, 

Princeton, N. J. 
W. A. GREESON, Principal of the High School, 

Grand Rapids, Mich. 
ANDREW INGRAHAM, Swain Free School, New 

Bedford, Mass. 
GEORGE D. OLDS, Professor, Amherst College, 

Amherst, MASS. 
JAMES L. PATTERSON, Lawrenceville School, 

Lawrenceville, N. J. 
T. H. S AFFORD, Professor, Williams College, 

Williamstown, Mass. 



The Conference was, from the beginning of its deliberations, unani- 
mously of opinion that a radical change in the teaching of arithmetic 
was necessary. Referring to the special report on that subject for a 
statement of the reasons on which its conclusion is based, the confer- 
ence recommends that the course in arithmetic be at the same time 
abridged and enriched ; abridged by omitting entirely those subjects 
which perplex and exhaust the pupil without affording any really 
valuable mental discipline, and enriched by a greater number of 
exercises in simple calculation and in the solution of concrete 

Among the subjects which should be curtailed, or entirely omitted, 
are compound proportion, cube root, abstract mensuration, obsolete 
denominate quantities, and the greater part of commercial arithmetic. 
Percentage should be rigidly reduced to the needs of actual life. In 
such subjects as profit and loss, bank discount, and simple and coin- 
pound interest, examples not easily made intelligible to the pupil 
should be omitted. Such complications as result from fractional 
periods of time in compound interest ar% useless and undesirable. 
The metric system should be taught in applications to actual measure- 
ments to be executed by the pupil himself ; the measures and weights 
being actually shown to, and handled by, the pupil. This system 
finds its proper application in the course which the Conference recom- 
mends in concrete geometry. 

The method of teaching should be throughout objective, and such 
as to call into exercise the pupil's mental activity. The text-books 
should be subordinate to the living teacher. The illustrations and 
problems should, so far as possible, be drawn from familiar objects ; 
and the scholar himself should be encouraged to devise as many as 
he can. So far as possible, rules should be derived inductively, 
instead of being stated dogmatically. On this system the rules will 
come at the end, rather than at the beginning, of a subject. 

The Conference at the same time insists upon the importance of 
practice in quick and ace:: rate reckoning. The scholar should be 
thoroughly trained in performing correctly and rapidly the four . 
fundamental operations with integers, vulgar fractions and decimals. 

The course in arithmetic thus mapped out should begin about the 
age of six years, and be completed at the end of the grammar school 
course, say about the thirteenth year of age. The conference does 
not feel competent to decide how many hours a week should be 
devoted to it, and therefore leaves this question to teachers and 
other school authorities. 


The second recommendation of the Conference is that a course of 
instruction in concrete geometry, with numerous exercises, be intro- 
duced into the grammar school. The object of this course would be 
to familiarize the pupil with the facts of plane and solid geometry, 
and with those geometrical conceptions to be subsequently employed 
in abstract reasoning. During the early years the instruction might 
be given informally, in connection with drawing, and without a 
separate appointment in the school calendar ; after the age of ten 
years, one hour per week should be devoted to it. 

While the systematic study of algebra should not begin until the 
completion of the course in arithmetic, the Conference deems it 
necessary that some familiarit}' with algebraic expressions and sym- 
bols, including the methods of solving simple equations, should be 
acquired in connection with the course in arithmetic. From the age 
of fourteen, systematic algebra should be commenced, and should be 
studied for five hours a week during the first year, and for about two 
hours and a half a week during the two years next succeeding. 

The Conference is of opinion that the subject of reckoning in 
algebra should receive more attention than it actually does, and that 
the same skill and accuracy shonld be required in dealing with 
literal as with numerical coefficients and exponents. It strongly 
urges that when, as must sometimes be the case, the scholar has 
occasion to learn and use propositions before he is prepared to 
understand their rigorous demonstration, he should be convinced of 
their truth by abundant concrete illustrations and examples, instead 
of being allowed to accept them as empirical conclusions, or to found 
them on demonstrations that lack rigor. 

The Conference believes that the study of demonstrative geometry 
should begin at the end of the first year's study of algebra, and be 
carried on by the side of algebra for the next two } r ears, occupying 
about two hours and a half a week. It believes that it the introduc- 
tory course in geometry has been well taught, both plane and solid 
geometry can be mastered at this time. 

Exercises in constructing demonstrations of theorems in plane 
geometry will naturally occupy much of the attention of teacher and 
pupil. The Conference deems it very important that great stress be 
laid by the teacher upon accurac} r of statement and elegance of form 
in such demonstrations, as well as on clear and rigorous reasoning. 
Special attention should be given to the oral statement of demon- 

It is very desirable that colleges should supplement their written 
admission examinations in geometiy by oral ones ; and a substantial 
part of the examination, whether written or oral, should be devoted 


to testing the ability of the candidate to construct original demon- 

Finally, the Conference is of opinion that up to the completion of 
the first year's work in algebra, the course should be the same, 
whether the pupils are preparing for college, for scientific schools, or 
intend their systematic education to end with the high school. In 
the case of those who do not intend to go to college, but to pursue a 
business career, the remainder of the term which has been allotted to 
algebra might well be devoted to book-keeping, and the technical 
parts of commercial arithmetic. Boys going to a scientific school 
might profitably spend a year on trigonometry and some of the 
higher parts of algebra, after completing the regular course in algebra 
and geometry. 


Among the branches of this subject which it is proposed to omit, 
are some which have survived from an epoch when more advanced 
mathematics was scarcely known in our schools, so that the course 
in arithmetic was expected to include all that the pupil would ever 
know of mathematics. Examples of these subjects are cube root, 
duo decimals, and compound proportion. Their teaching serves no 
useful purpose at the present time. So far as any useful principles 
are embodied in them, they belong to algebra, and can be taught by 
algebraic methods with such facilit}' that there is no longer any 
sound reason for their retention in the arithmetical course. 

The case is different with commercial arithmetic. The subjects 
taught under this head have been greatly multiplied and enlarged in 
recent years, in consequence of the popular demand for a system of 
education which should be more practical and better suited to the 
demands of modern commercial and business life, than the old one 
was supposed to be. It may be well that those pupils of our busi- 
ness colleges who are mature enough to understand such subjects as 
banking, insurance, discount, partial pa} T ments, equation of pay- 
ments, and the other branches commonly included under the term 
commercial arithmetic, and who have no expectation of taking any 
other mathematical course than this, should study these subjects 
exhaustive!}'. But the case is different with pupils who are going 
through the courses of our regular graded schools. For them the 
subjects in question have no practical value, for the reason that they 
are too young and inexperienced to understand the principles on 
which business is conducted, and therefore waste valuable mental 
energy in fruitless struggles with problems which they cannot cornpre- 


hencl. In the text-books we find the subjects in question prefaced 
I)}' very excellent definitions. The pupil who masters them will be 
able to state on examination that u the market value of stock is what 
the stock brings per share when sold for cash " ; that lt stock is at a 
discount when its market value is less than its par value" ; that " its 
par value is that named in the certificate" ; that " the pa}-ee of a bill 
of exchange is the person to whom the mone}* is ordered to be paid " ; 
in fine, to state in brief sentences the first principles of commercial 
law. He may also, after much conjecturing, be able to solve many 
questions in banking, exchange, insurance, and custom-house busi- 
ness. But until he is brought into actual contact with the business 
iljself, he can form no clear conception of what it all means, or what 
are the uses or applications of the problems he is solving. On the 
other hand, when he is once brought face to face with business as an 
actuality ; when for. the first time he becomes a depositor in a savings 
bank, or a purchaser of shares in a, corporation, he will find all the 
arithmetic necessary for his purposes to be interest, discount, and 
percentage. The conceptions which he vainly endeavored to master 
by recitations from a text-book take their places in his mind with 
hardly the necessity of an effort on his part. 

The opinion is widely,prevalent that even if the subjects are totally 
forgotten, a valuable mental discipline is acquired by the efforts 
made to master them. While the Conference admits that, considered 
in itself, this discipline has a certain value, it feels that' such a 
discipline is greatly inferior to that which may be gained by a dif- 
ferent class of exercises, and bears the same relation to a really 
improving discipline that lifting exercises in an ill-ventilated room 
bear to games in the open air. The movements of a race horse 
afford a better model of improving exercise than those of the ox in a 
tread-mill. The pupil who solves a difficult problem in brokerage 
may have the pleasant consciousness of having overcome a difficulty, 
but he cannot feel that he is mentally improved by the efforts he has 
made. To attain this end he must feel at every step that he has a 
new command of principles to be applied to future problems. This 
end can be best gained by comparatively easy problems, involving 
interesting combinations of ideas. 

Most of the improvements which the Conference has to suggest in 
teaching can be summed up under the two heads of giving the teach- 
ing a more concrete form, and paying more attention to facility and 
correctness in work. The relations of magnitudes should, so far as 
possible, be represented to the eye. The fundamental operations of 
arithmetic should not onl}' be performed symbolically by numbers, 
but practically, by joining lines together, dividing them into parts. 


and combining the parts in such a way as to illustrate the fundamen- 
tal rules for multiplication and division of fractions. A pupil can 
learn to divide a line into parts more easily than he can master defini- 
tions ; and when this is done he has a conception of fractions which 
he cannot gain in an}' other way. The visible figures by which prin- 
cipled are illustrated should, so far as possible, have no accessories. 
They should be magnitudes pure and simple, so that the thought of 
the pupil ma}' not be distracted and that he ma}' know what feature 
of the thing represented he is to pay attention to. The elementary 
theorems of arithmetic should be enforced and illustrated in the same 
way, without an attempt at formal demonstration, the generalization 
being reached inductively. Thus, when the pupil comprehends 
clearly, by means of dots arranged in a rectangle, that three fives 
contain the same number of units as five threes, that is, when he sees 
that the commutative law is true, then it may be expressed to him in 
the general form, aX b = b X>a* 

The concrete system should not be confined to principles, but be 
extended to practical applications in mensuration and physics. Meas- 
urements of the room, the house, and the yard ; the calculation of the 
weights of visible objects, or of the number of articles that a given 
receptacle will hold ; the computation of distances and areas in the 
town, by measures on a map of known scale, of the number of cubic 
feet in a room, and of the weight of the air which fills the room, are 
examples of problems which can be extended by the teacher indefi- 
nitely. The simple operations of arithmetic can be better exemplified 
by problems set on the spur of the moment, and springing naturally 
from the environment of teacher and pupil, than by those given in a 
printed book ; and have the inestimable advantage of exciting the 
interest of the pupil. 

When such a system of teaching is once introduced, tho teacher 
will probably be surprised to find to what seemingly abstruse prob- 
lems the simplest principles of arithmetic can. be applied. The 
problem of computing the quantity of coal which would have to be 
burned in order to heat the air of a room from the freezing point to 
70 would probably be beyond the powers of all our college grad- 
uates, except those who have made physics one of their specialties. 
Yet there is nothing in its elements above the powers of a boy of 
twelve. At this age the child could, by a few very simple experi- 
ments, gain the idea of a quantity of heat much more easily than the 
idea of stock in a corporation. Having gained this, the elements 
which enter into the problem in question could be measured one 
by one. 



The Conference recommends that the child's geometrical education 
should begin as early as possible ; in the kindergarten, if he attends 
a kindergarten, or if not, in the primary school. He should at first 
gain familiarity through the senses with simple geometrical figures 
and forms, plane and solid ; should handle, draw, measure, and 
model them ; and should gradually learn some of their simpler 
properties and relations. It is the opinion of the Conference that 
in the early years of the primary school this work could be done in 
connection with the regular courses in drawing and modelling with- 
out requiring any important modification of the school curriculum. 

At about the age of ten for the average child, systematic instruc- 
tion in concrete or experimental geometry should begin, and should 
occupy about one school hour per week for at least three years. 
During this period the main facts of plane and solid geometry should 
be taught, not as an exercise in logical deduction and exact demon- 
stration, but in as concrete and objective a form as possible. For 
example, the simple properties of similar plane figures and similar 
solids should not be proved, but should be illustrated and confirmed 
by cutting up and re-arranging drawings or models. 

This course should include among other things the careful con- 
struction of plane figures, both by the unaided eye and by the aid of 
ruler, compasses and protractor ; the indirect measurement of heights 
and distances by the aid of figures carefully drawn to scale ; and 
elementary mensuration, plane and solid. 

The child should learn to estimate by the eye and to measure with 
some degree of accuracy the lengths of lines, the magnitudes of 
angles, and the areas of simple plane figures ; to make accurate plans 
and maps from his own actual measurements and estimates ; and 
to make models of simple geometrical solids in pasteboard and 
in cla}'. 

Of course, while no attempt should be made to build up a complete- 
logical system of geometry, the child should be thoroughly convinced 
of the correctness of his constructions and the truth of his proposi- 
tions by abundant concrete illustrations and by frequent experi- 
mental tests ; and from the beginning of the systematic work he 
should be encouraged to draw easy inferences, and to follow short 
chains of reasoning. 

From the outset the pupil should be required to express himself 
verbally as well as by drawing and modelling, and the language 
employed should be, as far as possible, the language of the science, 
and not a temporary phraseology to be unlearned later. 


It is the belief of the Conference that the course here suggested, 
if skilfully taught, will not only be of great educational value to all 
children, but will also be a most desirable preparation for later 
mathematical work. 

Then, too, while it will on one side supplement and aid the work in 
arithmetic, it will on the other side fit in with and help the elemen- 
tary instruction in physics, if such instruction is to be given. 


It is desirable, during the study of arithmetic, to familiarize the 
pupil with the use of literal expressions and of algebraic language in 
general. The teacher may advantageously introduce the simple 
equation in the study of proportion, of the more difficult problems 
in analysis, and of percentage and its applications. The desig- 
nation of positive integral powers by exponents may also be 

Avoiding the introduction of negative numbers,, the pupil should 
be drilled in easy problems like the -following : 

If one stone weighs p pounds and another weighs q pounds, what 
is the weight of both together? 

If a square table is a feet long, what is its area? 

If a yards of cloth cost b dollars, what will c yards cost? 

Such exercises should grow out of similar ones involving numeri- 
cal data. 

The average pupil should be prepared to undertake the study of 
formal algebra at the beginning of the fourteenth year. For stu- 
dents preparing to enter college, the time assigned to this study in 
the high school should be about the equivalent of five hours per week 
during the first year, and an average of two hours and a half per 
week during the two following years. This affords ample time for 
the thorough mastery of algebra through quadratic equations and 
equations of quadratic form. The course should include radicals, 
but exclude the progressions, series, and logarithms, although a 
familiarity with logarithmic tables is desirable for those who expect 
to take a technical course in any department. 

There are certain propositions in algebra the rigorous demonstra- 
tion of which is unintelligible to pupils at the time when these 
propositions are first encountered. Such is usually the case with the 
rule of signs in multiplication and with the binomial formula. In 
cases of this kind the proof should be at first omitted, but always 
introduced at a later period in school or college. When such omis- 
sions are made, the pupil must be convinced of the truth of the 


propositions by illustration or induction. In many of our text-books 
the proofs of the theorems above referred to are not rigorous. The 
truth of the binomial formula for fractional or negative exponents 
had best be reserved for the more advanced courses in college or the 
scientific school. In case of positive integral exponents the pupil 
should arrive at the mode -of expansion through the examination of 
products obtained by actual multiplication. 

Oral exercises in algebra, similar to those in what is called 
" mental arithmetic," are recommended. Such exercises are particu- 
larly helpful in conducting brief and rapid reviews. Quickness and 
accuracy in both oral and written work should be rigidly enforced. 
The same facility should be attained in dealing with expressions 
containing coefficients and exponents that are literal as with expres- 
sions in which they are numerical. Radicals and fractional and 
negative exponents need more attention than they commonly receive. 
Especial emphasis should be laid upon the fundamental nature of the 
equation. The distinction should be clearly and repeatedly drawn 
between the ordinary algebraic equation and the identities with 
which the pupil has grown familiar in his study of arithmetic. He 
should also be given drill in the solution of an ordinary equation 
with reference to any letter that it may contain. 


In regard to the teaching of formal geometry the Conference 
invites attention to the following considerations : 

1. A course of study in demonstrative geometry properly begins 
with a careful and exhaustive enumeration of those properties of 
s^ace which do not admit of being deduced from still simpler proper- 
ties ; that space is continuous and of three dimensions ; that figures 
may be moved about in it without change of size or shape ; that 
straight lines and planes ma}* exist in space, determined by two 
and three points respectively ; that of two intersecting straight lines 
but one can be parallel to a giver straight line the so-called 
geometric axioms. 

It is of the first importance that the role which these axioms or 
better, postulates play in the demonstrative geometry be correctly 
understood : together they constitute a definition of space, from 
which with certain formal definitions of figures it is the business 
of demonstrative geometry to deduce all other facts regarding space 
with which it may concern itself. 

2. The function of the construction postulates also, by which the 
elementary geometry is restricted in its constructions to the use of 


the compasses and ungraduated straight-edge, merits careful exposi- 
tion, inasmuch as these postulates define the province of the elemen- 
tary as distinguished from higher geometry. That it is not alwa3 T s 
understood is obvious from conceptions which are current as to what 
is and what is not allowable in the elementary geometry. 

3. There are two methods employed in geometry for dealing with 
size-relations among the geometric magnitudes, the methods of 
immediate comparison of the magnitudes, and of comparison by 
means of their numerical measure. Thus the theorem, "the square 
on the sum of two lines is equal to the sum of the squares on those 
lines plus twice their rectangle," is demonstrated after the first 
method by showing that the square on the sum may be actually 
divided into these four parts ; after the second, by deducing it from 
the algebraic theorem that the square of the sum of two quantities is 
equal to the sum of the squares of those quantities plus twice their 

The first method is purely geometrical. None of its notions are 
arithmetical. Magnitudes are defined as equal when they can be 
made to coincide, they are added and substracted geometrically by 
juxtaposition and separation and their ratios are not expressed 
numerically but, like the magnitudes themselves, compared directly. 
The second method, on the other hand, is essentially arithmetical. 
Replacing the magnitudes by .their measures, it at the same time 
replaces geometric equality, addition and substraction by the equality, 
addition and substraction of irrational numbers. 

Opinions differ as to what the relative prominence of these two 
methods should be in elementary geometry. But, the first method 
being pure and thoroughly elementary and involving no abstraction, 
is surely better suited to the beginner. Indeed the student is most 
likely to become a sound geometer who is not introduced to the 
notion of numerical measures until he has learned that geometry can 
be developed independently of it . altogether. For this notion is 
subtle, and highly artificial from a purely geometrical point of view and 
its rigorous treatment is difficult. The student generally only half 
comprehends it, so that for him demonstrations lose more in rigor as 
well as in vividness and objectivity by its use than they gain in 
apparent simplicity. Moreover the constant association of number 
with the geometric magnitudes as one of their properties tends to 
obscure the fundamental characteristic of these magnitudes their 

The numerical method is of course to be taught with due atten- 
tion to its rigorous presentation for its own sake and for .the sake 
of the mensuration to which it leads; but serious harm is done by 


allowing it to entirely supplant the pure method at as early a period 
as is customary. 

4. Many students who can reason logically cannot present a geo- 
metrical demonstration orally with due elegance of form. Their 
statement oTftri^argument is incomplete or illogical, or they express 
themselves in an awkward and inexact manner. This is a fault 
which may render the recitation of the proofs of geometry practically 
valueless, inasmuch as it prevents the discipline for which this exer- 
cise is chiefly prized, and cultivates instead the vicious habit of 
slovenly expression. It is due in part to the willingness of certain 
teachers to accept in lieu of the demonstration of a proposition any 
kind of evidence that the pupil understands it, in part to the wide- 
spread practice of substituting written for oral demonstration. The 
remedy is obvious : abundance of oral recitation for which there is 
no proper substitute and the rejection of all proofs which are not 
formally perfect. 

5. The elementary ideas of logic may be introduced early in the 
course in demonstrative geometry with great advantage. One need 
only explain that if a class of things be represented by a symbol, say 
A, all things not belonging to this class may also be thought of as 
constituting a class, represented by the symbol not A; and that the 
proposition A is B is not a declaration of the equivalence of A and 
jB, but that every individual of the class A belongs to the class B 
to make it easily understood why the converse proposition B is A is 
not a necessary consequence of A is B and under what conditions it 
becomes such a consequence ; and why, on the other hand, the " con- 
trapositive " not B is not A is the logical equivalent of A is B and 
the " obverse " not A is not B of B is A. 

Yet this little knowledge would add materially to the student's 
equipment for geometry. The contrapositive of a proposition is 
oftentimes more readily demonstrated than the proposition itself, its 
obverse than its converse ; and when it has been proven that A is B 
it is often easier to show that there is but one B (when such is the 
case) than to show directly that B is A. 

This knowledge, furthermore, is seriously needed to dispel existing 
confusion. For many students have a strong, though of course un- 
formulated conviction with apparently a good deal to justify it 
that the logic of algebra is quite distinct from the logic of geometry, 
and both from the logic of ordinary correct thinking. Without a 
knowledge of the conditions under which the truth of the converse of 
a demonstrated proposition may be immediately inferred, for in- 
stance, it is difficult to see how the student is to reconcile the need of 
demonstrating converses in geometry with the practice which is com- 


mon in algebra of establishing a proposition by proving its converse 

as in proving the truth of an algebraic relation by showing that it 
leads to an identity. 

Finally the very fact that demonstrative geometry is the most elab- 
orate illustration of the mechanism of formal logic in the entire 
curriculum of the student, makes the consideration of these elemen- 
tary principles of logic more interesting and profitable in this connec- 
tion than in any other, 

6. As soon as the student has acquired the art of rigorous demon- 
stration, his work should cease to be merely receptive. He should 
begin to devise constructions and demonstrations for himself. 

Geometr}" cannot be mastered by reading the demonstrations of a 
text book ; and while there is no branch of the elementary mathe- 
matics in which purely receptive work, if continued too long, may 
lose its interest more completely, there is also none in which inde- 
pendent work can be made more attractive and stimulating. It 
possesses remarkable qualifications for quickening and developing 
creative talent. Its materials are a few simple, concrete, and easily 
apprehended notions which admit of numberless interesting and 
valuable combinations, some very simple, some very complex. The 
lack of general methods is the weakness of elementary geometry as a 
science. Each theorem must be demonstrated for itself by a process 
differing in some respect from that followed in the case of every 
other. But the invention of these processes unimportant as they 
may be individually is an intellectual exercise as much higher than 
the mechanical illustration of some powerful and general method 
which is all that the ordinary exercises of elementary algebra involve 

as it is lower than the discovery of a new truth by aid of such a 

At the same time this characteristic of the elementary geometry 
makes the acquisition of any considerable degree of skill in indepen- 
dent geometrical work difficult. It requires abundant practice in 
exercises which have been carefully graduated and adapted to the 
abilities of the individual student. In particular it is important that 
the student should comprehend that, notwithstanding the rigorously 
synthetic form of its demonstrations, the method of investigation in 
elementary geometry, as in all science, is essentially analytic that 
the clue to a demonstration or construction is most likely to be found 
by assuming it accomplished and tracing its consequences until 
results previously established have been deduced from it. 

By wise instruction after this method, the inferior student can at 
least be freed from slavish dependence on his text book, while the 
able student will gain power enough in large part to construct his 


own geometr} r . But whatever the training may accomplish for him 
geometrically, there is no student whom it will not brighten and 
strengthen intellectually as few other exercises can. 

7. It is desirable, if feasible, that solid as well as plane geometry 
be studied in preparation for college. 

A place should also be found either in the school or college course 
for at least the elements of the modern synthetic or protective geom- 
etry. It is astonishing that this subject should be so generally 
ignored, for mathematics offers nothing more attractive. It possesses 
the coricreteness of the ancient geometry without the tedious particu- 
larity, and the power of analytical geometry without the reckoning, 
and by the beauty of its ideas and methods illustrates the esthetic 
quality which is the charm of the higher mathematics, but which the 
elementary mathematics in general lacks. 



The Conference on Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy, met on 
December 28, 1892, in Chicago. Its first session was held at 10 A.M. 
in a room of the University of Chicago provided for the purpose. 
Shortly after the appointed hour all the ten members were present, 
Mr. George W. Krall, of St. Louis, presenting himself as the 
accredited substitute for Mr. W. C. Peckham, of Brooklyn. 

The Conference organized at once by the election of Professor 
Ira Remsen as Chairman, and Mr. I. W. Fay as Secretary. 

Morning and afternoon sessions were held for three days. At the 
end of the second day two members, Professor Payne, of Minnesota, 
and Mr. Gage, of Boston, were obliged to leave, and those remaining 
continued the work to the end. 

The results of the deliberations of this Conference will be found 
embodied in the following resolutions, which have been arranged as 
far as possible in the order corresponding to the list of questions 
suggested by your committee. 

This Conference recommends : 

1. That the study of simple natural phenomena be introduced into 
the elementary schools and that this study, so far as practicable, be 
pursued by means of experiments carried on by the pupil ; also that 
in connection therewith, in the upper grades of these schools, practice 
be given in the use of simple instruments for making physical 

2. That, wherever this is possible, special science-teachers or 
superintendents be appointed to instruct the teachers of elementary 
schools in methods of teaching natural phenomena. 

[While no resolution was passed in regard to the amount of time 
to be devoted to the study of natural phenomena in the elementary 
schools, it was the sense of the Conference that at least one period 
per day be given to such study.] 

3. That the study of Chemistry should precede that of Physics in 
high-school work. 

4. That the study of Physics be pursued the last year of the high 
school course. 

5. That the study of Chemistry be introduced into the secondary 
schools in the year preceding that in which Physics is taken up. 

6. That at least 200 hours be devoted to the study of Physics in 
the high school. 


7. That at least 200 hours be given to the study of Chemistry in 
the high school. 

8. That both Physics and Chemistry be required for admission to 

9. That Astronomy be not required for admission to college. 

10. That when the high school course is four years, an elective in 
Astronomy be offered. Time five recitations per week during a 
period of twelve weeks. 

11. That there should be no difference in the treatment of Physics, 
Chemistry, and Astronomy, for those going to college or scientific 
school, and those going to neither. 

12. That the study of Astronomy should be by observation as well 
as by class-room instruction. 

13. That in secondary schools Physics and Chemistry be taught by 
a combination of laboratory work, text-book, and thorough didactic 
instruction carried on conjointly, and that at least one-half of the 
time devoted to these subjects be given to laboratory work. 

14. That laboratory work in Physics should be largely of a quan- 
titative character. 

15. That careful note-book records of the laboratory work in both 
Physics and Chemistry should be kept by the student at the time of 
the experiment. 

16. That the laboratory work should have the personal supervision 
of the teacher at the laboratory desk. 

17. That the laboratory record should form part of the test for 
admission to college, and that the examination for admission should 
be both experimental and either oral or written. 

18. That in the subjects dealt with by this Conference there be no 
separation of the examinations into preliminary and final. 

19. It was further resolved that it is the opinion of this Conference 
that the admission to college by means of certificates from approved 
schools is the ideal method. 

20. That in the opinion of this Conference it is better to study one 
subject as well as possible during the whole year than to study two or 
more superficially during the same time. 

21. That in the instruction in Physics and Chemistry it should not 
be the aim of the student to make a so-called rediscovery of the laws 
of these sciences. 

22. That a committee to consist of Mr. Fay and Mr. Krall have 
charge of making out a list of 50 experiments in Physics, and 100 
experiments in Chemistry, to be subject to the approval of the 


The above resolutions were carried unanimously, with one excep- 
tion, and in this case with but one dissenting vote. 

Each one of the resolutions was fully discussed and the discussions 
showed clearly that the members of the Conference were, in the main, 
in hearty accord. Every member evidently felt strongly that the 
ordinary method of secondary education that ignores the study of 
nature is highly objectionable. The study of books is well enough 
I L/px\<\ undoubtedly important, but the study of things and of phenom- 
ena by direct contact must not be neglected. If it is conceded that 
the study of scientific methods is important, then it appears evident 
that in the early stages of education the mind should be prepared for \ 
this kind of study, and not rendered unfit for it. Therefore the 
Conference passed the first resolution. 

But it would be impossible at present to provide a sufficient num- 
ber of properly qualified teachers for elementary work in science, and 
for a time, at least, it would be necessary to instruct the teachers. 
To this end, Resolution 2 provides for the appointment of special 
science superintendents, who should have supervision over the ele- 
mentaiy work in science, somewhat as the superintendents of 
drawing have over their branch of work. 

As regards Resolutions 3, 4, and 5, it should be said that the order 
recommended for the study of Chemistry and Ptrysics is plainly not 
the logical one, but all the members with one exception voted for 
Resolution 3 because they felt that the pupils should have as much 
mathematical knowledge as possible to enable them to deal satisfac- 
torily with Physics, while they could profitably take up elementary 
Chemistry at an earlier stage. 

Resolution 13 is an important one. It requires no argument to 
show that the study of a text-book of Chemistry or of Physics 
without; laboratory work cannot give a satisfactory knowledge of 
these subjects, and cannot furnish scientific training. Such study is 
of little, if any, value. On the other hand, the mere performing of 
experiments in a laboratory, however well equipped the laboratory 
may be, cannot accomplish what is desired. Further, a pupil may 
work conscientiously in the laboratory, and study his text-book 
thoroughly, and yet receive a very inadequate training. He needs an 
intelligent teacher to aid him in interpreting the statements of the 
book and the phenomena observed, as well as to show him how 
to work. Loose work in the laboratory is as harmful as loose 
work in the class-room, and much of the laboratory work done in \ 
schools, as well as in colleges, is loose work. The great majority of; 
pupils are sure to do bad work unless carefully guided. In mathe- 
matics and the languages accuracy can be secured, and is secured, 


by thorough questioning, Similar thorough questioning by a good 
teacher at the laboratory desk can make an exercise of great value, 
that without it might be positively harmful. There is no doubt that 
lack of this cooperation on the part of the teacher is one of the 
reasons wh}^ courses in science often fail to give satisfactory results. 
Resolution 16 emphasizes the importance of this supervision. 

"While the good teacher will prevent the laboratory work from 
becoming mechanical, another instrument is of great value for this 
same purpose. This is the keeping of records. Resolution 15 
directs attention to this. Without constant watching, this part of the 
work will degenerate and become harmful instead of helpful , There 
are at least three sources of danger in it: 

1. The pupil, no matter what he may actually see, will tend not to 
record his own observations, but to transcribe statements found in 
his text-book. 

2. If the facts observed point to a conclusion, the relation between 
the facts and the conclusion ma} T not be stated logically. 

3. The record and the reasoning may be expressed in faulty 

It is the teacher's business to guard against these dangers, and the 
records, if properly treated by a conscientious teacher, furnish the 
means for most instructive talks between teacher and pupil. 

To this it will no doubt be objected by some that the kind of 
instruction indicated requires much more time than can generally be 
given to the work. It is certainly true that to give good instruction 
in the sciences requires more work of the teacher than to give good 
instruction in mathematics, the languages, etc. The sooner this fact 
is recognized by those who have the management of schools, the 

Resolution 17 was the result of a discussion upon a subject 
with which some members of the Conference had little familiarity. 
The unanimous opinion was, however, that by means of a laboratory 
examination alone it must be extremely difficult to form an opinion 
as to the attainments of a pupil ; that the same is equally true of 
either an oral or a written examination ; and that only by a combina- 
tion of the two can the examiner convince himself that the pupil has 
been properly trained. The laboratory record may also furnish 
valuable evidence, and, further, if this be required as part of the test 
for admission to college, an incentive will be furnished to both 
teacher and pupil to see that the record is well kept. 

Resolution 19 was not the result of much discussion, and is of 
importance simply because it is an* expression of the unanimous 
opinion of the Conference. The arguments for and against the 


certificate-system are so familiar that they need not be mentioned 

Resolution 21 is intended to counteract, as far as possible, the 
tendency to lead pupils to think that, in their work in the laboratory, 
they are engaged in rediscovering the laws of Nature. The pupils 
may, to be sure, become imperfectly acquainted with the methods of 
work that have led to the discovery of the laws, and they will, no 
doubt, come to see more and more clearly the relations between the 
facts and the laws, but the Conference is clearly of the opinion that 
it is wrong to speak of the work of the pupils as leading to the 
discovery of laws. 

IRA REMSEN, Professor, Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity, Baltimore, Md., Chairman. 

IRVING W. FAY, The Belmont School, Belmont, 
Calif., Secretary. 

*W. J. WAGGENER, Professor, University of Col- 
orado, Boulder, Colo. 

JAMES H. SHEPARD, Professor, South Dakota 
Agricultural College, Brookings, So. Dak. 

WILLIAM W. PAYNE, Professor, Carleton Col- 
lege, Northfield, Minn. 

G. W. KRALL, Manual Training School, Wash- 
ington University, St. Louis, Mo. 

BROWN AYRES, Professor, Tulane University, 
New Orleans, La. 

WILLIAM McPHERSON, JR., 2901 Collinwood 
Avenue, Toledo, 0. 

GEORGE RANTOUL WHITE, Phillips Academy, 

Exeter, N. If. 

fALFRED P. GAGE. English High School, Boston, 


I respectfully beg leave to submit the following minority report on 
the subjects of Resolutions 3 and 5 of the report of the Conference 
on Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy ; to- wit : that in the resolu- 
tions mentioned the words "Physics" and "Chemistry" be inter- 
changed, so that Physics shall be studied before Chemistry. 

* Submits a minority report against Resolutions 3 and 5. 
f See two qualifications below. 


In support of this dissenting opinion I submit the following 
reasons : 

In training the faculties to make accurate observations and to 
draw safe inferences, the order of proceedings should be from the 
more simple subject-matter to the less simple and from that which is 
more obvious to the senses to that which is less so. 

Also, other things equal, that should be first studied which has 
the more abundant material for illustration and application : which 
occurs the more frequently in the experiences of e very-day life. 

Admitting, of course, the deep mystery which underlies and limits 
all kinds of knowledge alike, it is still true that a great part of the 
body of knowledge called Physics relates to phenomena wherein the 
bodies concerned are distinctly perceptible, and their behavior is 
also directly perceptible to the senses at every stage of the phenome- 
non. The first results come thus from direct perception rather than 
by inference ; but it is upon such phenomena that the power of 
making inferences should first be trained ; for the inference based 
upon complete observation is more simple and more safe than that 
based on other inferences. It is in the light of and from analogy 
with the behavior of the visible bodies that we may later infer and at 
least partly understand the behavior of the invisible parts, as con- 
sidered in both Physics and Chemistry. 

The behavior of the parts of matter concerned in chemical changes 
is inferred not observed : and the conceptions of it are less simple 
than those of even molecular physics ; as it involves a special distri- 
bution of more than one kind of matter ; and as chemical affinity is 
evidently more special and less simple than cohesion or adhesion. 

The rational study of chemical phenomena is therefore of a higher 
order of difficulty than those of physics certainly than those of 
molecular physics the portion of the subject to which the work of 
the high school in this branch is largely directed. 

If it be contended that chemistry may be studied without inquiring 
into the distribution and changes in the distribution of the small 
parts seeking only to know the products of these changes ; it ma} r 
be answered that few or none would seriously favor reducing the 
study of the science to the cataloguing of chemical products, or 
dispensing with the aid of the atomic theory and of chemical 
formulas and equations based thereon. So far as this method is 
applicable at all, it should go to the primary school and a very 
little of it should suffice there. 

To make the study of chemical theory as little artificial and as 
much rational as possible, and to secure intelligent conception of its 
many and close relations to physical laws, a previous training in the 


conceptions and measurements of such fundamental quantities as 
mass, density, specific gravit} T , heat, specific heat, and others, would 
seem practically indispensable. A knowledge of optics is necessary 
to an intelligent study of spectrum analysis, some treatment of 
which, at least, should be included in the high school course ; like- 
wise some treatment of the facts of electrolysis, better if preceded 
by some knowledge about electrical currents. In fact it seems not 
unreasonable to suggest that the whole subject of elementary physics 
forms a desirable basis for the study of the elements of chemistry. 

On the other hand a knowledge of elementary chemistry is to but a 
small extent helpful in getting the knowledge of physics expected 
from a high school course. 



Resolutions 4 and 5, which give to Chemistry the priority of time 
in relation to Physics, received my approval, not that I deem that this 
is the natural or logical order of sequence, but because Physics 
requires the largest knowledge of mathematics that the secondary 
school affords, and because the difficulty of this study demands the 
greatest maturity of mind. 

My approval of Resolution 7 is recorded, but on further and more 
careful consideration, I am constrained to state that it is my opinion 
that 150 hours may suffice for Chemistry. 



This joint session was held in the main building of the University 
of Chicago, with the purpose of considering the amount of time which 
should be devoted to the work represented by these three Conferences 
during the high school course. The result of their deliberations will 
be found in the following resolution which was carried with but one 
dissenting vote: 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this joint Conference that at 
least one-quarter of the time of the high-school course should be 
devoted to nature-studies and that this amount of work should be 
required for admission to college. 

IRA REMSEN, Secretary of the Joint Session. 



GENTLEMEN : In accordance with your resolution appointing a com- 
mittee to select a list of fifty experiments in Physics and one hundred in 
Chemistry, the Committee hereby submit the following Report : 

The task of selecting these lists has been a difficult one as it must neces- 
sarily have been from the great variety in kind and difficulty of the same 
experiments described by different authors. 

It has been the aim of the Committee to select experiments that by com- 
mon consent are used by several authors. Where experiments have been 
taken that are not found widely used, it has been on account of their 
quantitative character, suitable experiments of this kind being the most 
difficult to find. 

We fully realize that these lists have only a suggestive force and are 
not to be regarded as a prescribed list by those into whose hands they will 
fall. It has been our purpose to make our work of such character as 
shall be most helpful to any teacher wishing to know the kind and degree 
of difficulty of experiments suitable for preparation for admission to col- 
lege in Physics and Chemistry. 

In Physics the titles of the experiments indicate more completely the 
nature of the work than those in Chemistry. 

In order that any teacher wishing to make the difficult change from 
text-book to laboratory work may have as tangible and helpful sugges- 

1 Resolution 22 was agreed to with some hesitation, as it was thought that any 
list might be misleading and would be sure to be imperfect. No committee 
could hope in a short time to work out courses of experiments differing 
materially from those found in the commonly used text-books, and the authors 
of text-books who were members of the Conference felt strongly that it would 
be in exceedingly bad taste, to say the least, to send out a report referring 
to their books as containing the proper kinds of experiments. The arguments 
for the appointment of the committee prevailed, and their report is submitted 
herewith. The chairman of the Conference has heard from all of the members 
in regard to the report. All but one approve the list of experiments in Physics. 
Seven approve the list of experiments in Chemistry in which reference is made 
to books. Two approve the list without references, but one of these nevertheless 
thinks that the other list would be likely to prove the more helpful. One (the 
same one who does not approve the list in Physics) does not approve either list. 
He writes : " I think it would be better for these lists to be submitted simply as 
a report from our sub-committee." Under these circumstances the chairman is 
not clear as to his duty, but, in view of the fact that seven of the ten members, 
not including himself, have expressed their approval of the list of chemical 
experiments with references to books, he has decided to submit that one, 
together with the list of physical experiments which, as already stated, has been 
approved by nine members of the Conference. It is, however, to be understood 
that the list is rather suggestive and tentative than final. 

IRA REMSEN, Chairman. 



1 1 . Water of cry stalliz ation . 

Remsen, Exp. 28. (Alum.) 

12. Water of crystallization. (Efflorescence.) 

Remsen, Exp. 32. 

13. Water of crystallization. (Deliquescence.) 

Remsen, Exp. 81. 

(.4. Decomposition of water by sodium. 
Remsen, Exp. 33. 
Shepard, p. 328, art. 363, Exp. 23. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 215, Exp. 176. 
Williams, Exp. 47. 

15. Distillation of a solution of copper sulphate. 

16. Preparation of hydrogen. 

Remsen, Exp. 35. 
Cooke, p. 59, Exp. 25. 
Shepard, p. 37, Art. 35, Exp. 24. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 23, Exp. 11. 

17. Properties of hydrogen. (Extreme lightness soap bubbles.) 

Eliot & Storer, p. 25, Art. 38. 
Shepard p. 38, Art. 36, Exp. 26. 
Remsen, Exp. 38. 

18. Lightness of hydrogen (by decanting). . 

Shepard, p. 38, Exp. 29. 

Remsen, Exp. 37. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 25, Exp. 12. 

19. Properties of hydrogen. (Inflammability.) . 

Eliot & Storer, p. 27, Exp. 14. 
Remsen, Exp. 39. 
Shepard, Art. 36. 

20. Combustion of hydrogen, forming water. 

Cooke, p. 61, Exp. 27. 
Shepard, p. 40, Art. 40. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 28, Exp. 15. 

21. Decomposition of water by the electric current. (Lecture Exp.) 

Eliot & Storer, p. 16. 

Remsen 1 s Elements, p. 43, Exp. 34. 

Shepard, Exp. 22. 

22. Preparation of nitric acid. 

Shepard, p. 67, Exp. 60. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 39, Exp. 22. 
Ivcmsen, Exp. 42. 
Williams, Exp. 36. 
Cooke, p. 81, Exp. 43 (a). 


23. Action of nitric acid on tin. 

Remsen, Exp. 43. 

24. Action of nitric acid on copper. 

Shepard, p. 69, Exp. 66. 
Remsen, Exp. 44. 

25. Preparation of nitric oxide. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 33, Exp. 19. 
Remsen, Exp. 46. 
Williams, Exp. 51. 
Cooke, p. 85, Exp. 44 (a) 
Shepard, p. 61, Exp. 56. 

26. Properties of nitric oxide. 

Cooke, p. 85, Exp. 44 (6). 
Remsen, Exp. 47. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 33, Exp. 19 (6). 
Shepard, Exp. 56, Art. 62. 

27. Preparation of nitrous oxide. 

Shepard, p. 59, Exp. 54. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 31, Exp. 17. 
Williams, Exp. 49. 
Cooke, p. 176, Exp. 77. 
Remsen, Exp. 45. 

28. Action of lime, caustic soda, and caustic potash, on ammonium chloride. 

Shepard, p. 52, Exps. 45, 46. 
Remsen, Exp. 40. 

29. Ammonia gas. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 48, Exp. 27. 
Remsen, Exp. 41. 
Williams, Exp. 45. 
Shepard, Exp. 48. 

30. Preparation of chlorine. 

Cooke, p. 71, Exp. 36. 
Shepard, p. 93, Exp. 70. 
Williams, Exp. 60. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 56, Exp. 30. 
Remsen, Exp. 49. 

31. Properties of chlorine. 

Remsen, Exp. 49. 

Shepard, p. 95, Exps. 71-73. 

Williams, Exp. 61. 

Cooke, p. 72, Exp. 36. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 57, Exp. 32. 


32. Action of sulphuric acid on common salt. 

Remsen, Exp. 50. 
Shepard, Exp. 74. 

33. Preparation of hydrochloric acid. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 51, Exp. 28. 
Williams, Exp. 33. 
Remsen, Exp. 51. 
Cooke, p. 70, Exp. 34. 
Shepard, p. 97, Exp. 74. 

34. Properties of hydrochloric acid. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 50. 
Cooke, p. 70, Exp. 35. 
Remsen, Exp. 51. 

35 . Neutralization . 

Eliot & Storer, p. 42, Exp. 25. 
Williams, Exp. 28. 
Cooke, pp. 93, 94. 
Remsen, Exp. 52. 
Shepard, Exp. 52. 

36. Mixture and chemical compound. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 75, Exp. 47. 
Remsen, Exps. 9-10. 
Cooke, p. 108, Exp. 60. 
Shepard, Exp. 4. 
Williams, Exp. 6. 

37. Physical and chemical solution. 

Cooke, p. 109, Exp. 61. 

38. Action, of carbon on solutions. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 118, Exp. 72. 
Remsen, Exp. 33. 
Williams, Exp. 20. 
Shepard, Exp. 92. 

39. Reducing action of carbon. 

Remsen, Exp. 54. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 119, Exp. 74* 

Williams, Exp. 22. 

Shepard, Exp. 152. 

40. Carbon dioxide and lime-water. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 119, Exp. 73. 
Remsen, Exp. 57. 
Shepard, p. 138, Exp. 99 


41. Preparation of carbon dioxide. 

Shepard, p. 140, Exp. 102. 

Remsen, Exp. 59. 

Williams, Exp. 54. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 120, Exp. 75. 

42. Weight of carbon dioxide. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 121, Exp. 77. 
Shepard, Exps. 104, 105. 

43. Effect of acids on carbonates. 

Remsen, Exp. 58. 
Shepard, Art. 152, 3. 

44." Preparation of carbonates. 
Remsen, Exps. 61, 62. 
Shepard, Art. 152, 1. 

45. Preparation of carbon monoxide. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 123, Exp. 81. 
Remsen, Exp. 63. 
Shepard, p. 137, Exp. 98. 
Cooke, p. 78, Exp. 40 (6). 

46. Carbon monoxide as a reducing agent. 

Remsen, Exp. 64. 

47. Nature of flame. 

Cooke, p. 62, Exp. 28. 
Remsen, Exp. 65. 
Shepard, p. 27, Exp. 17. 
Williams, Exp. 56. 

48. Preparation of bromine. 

Shepard, p. 109, Exp. 82. 
Remsen, Exp. 66. 
Williams, Exp. 66. 

49. Hydrobromic acid. 

Remsen, Exp. 67. 
Shepard, Art. 116. 

50. Preparation of iodine. 

Shepard, p. 116, Exp. 85. 
Remsen, Exp. 68. 
Williams, Exp. 67. 

51. Preparation of hydriodic acid, 

Remsen, Exp. 71. 
Shepard, p. 117, Exp. 87. 


52. Solvent for iodine. 

Shepard, p. 117. 
Remsen, Exp. 69. 

53. Action of iodine on starch. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 63, Exp. 39 
Williams, Exp. 69. 
Remsen, Exp. 70. 
Shepard, Art. 125, 2. 

54. Hydrofluoric-acid etching. 

Remsen, Exp. 72. 
Williams, Exp. 35. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 67, Exp. 41. 
Shepard, Exp. 91. 

55. Crystallized sulphur. 

Cooke, p. 65, Exp. 31. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 73. 

Williams, Exp. 71. 

Remsen, Exp. 73. 

Shepard, pp. 158-9, Exps. Ill, 113. 

56. Amorphous sulphur. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 73, Exp. 44. 
Shepard, p. 158, Exp. 112. 
Cooke, p. 66, Exp. 31. 
Williams, Exp. 71. 

57. Action of boiling sulphur upon metals. 

Remsen, Exp. 74. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 75, Ex. 47. 

Shepard, p. 159 ; p. 11, Exp. 4. 

58. Preparation of hydrogen sulphide. 

Remsen, Exp. 75. 
Williams, Exp. 72. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 76, Exp. 48. 
Shepard, p. 161, Exp. 115. 
Cooke, p. 105, Exp. 59 (6). 

59. Action of hydrogen sulphide upon salts. 

Shepard, p. 162, Exp. 116. 
Eliot & Storer, Exp. 51. 
Cooke, p. 120. 
Remsen, Exp. 76. 
Williams, Exp. 73. 


60. Preparation of sulphur dioxide. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 78, Exp. 52. 
Remsen, Exp. 77. 
Shepard, p. 164, Exp. 118. 

61. Bleaching by sulphur dioxide. 

Shepard, p. 166, Exp. 119. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 80, Exp. 53. 
Remsen, Exp. 78. 

62. Preparation of sulphuric acid. (Lecture Exp.) 

63. Burning of phosphorus. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 93, Exp. 57. 
Williams, Exp. 74. 
Remsen, Exp. 80. 
Shepard, Exp. 11. 

64. Arsenic, Marsh's test. 

Remsen, Exps. 82, 83. 
Shepard, Art. 254, 2. 

65. Reduction of arsenic oxide. 

Shepard, p. 242, Exp. 152. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 104, Exp. 62. 
Remsen, Exp. 84. 

66. Preparation of stibine. 

Remsen, Exp. 85. 
Shepard, Art. 258, 2. 

67. Potash from wood ashes. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 220, Exp. 179. 
Remsen, Exp. 86. 
Shepard, p. 325. 

68. Potassium on water. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 222, Exp. 181. 
Remsen, Exp. 87. 
Williams, Exp. 46. 
Shepard, Art. 359. 

69. Preparation of potassium carbonate. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 226, Exp. 184. 
Shepard, p. 325. 

70. Potassium nitrate and charcoal. 

Remsen, Exp. 88. 

Williams, Exp. 78. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 226, Exp. 184. 

Shepard, Exp. 64. 


71. Flame tests for potassium and sodium. 

Shepard, p. 326, Art. 360; p. 333, Art. 364. 
Remsen, Exp. 91. 

72. Volatility of ammonium chloride. 

Remsen, Exp. 95. 

73. Examination of lime-water. 

Remsen, Exp. 97. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 243, Exp. 195. 

Shepard, p. 314. 

74. Plastei of Paris from gypsum. 

Remsen, Exp. 98. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 245, Art. 423. 

Shepard, p. 315, Art. 349 (6). 

75. Action of zinc and iron on copper sulphate. 

Shepard, p. 259, Exp. 161. 
Remsen, Exp. 99. 

76. Burning magnesium. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 252, Exp. 201. 
Shepard, Exp. 107 and Art. 353. 

77. Caustic soda on copper sulphate. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 276, Exps. 220, 221. 
Remsen, Exp. 100. 

78 and 79. Analysis of coin silver. 
Cooke, p. 116, Exp. 65. 
Remsen, Exp. 98. 
Williams, Exp. 91. 
Eliot & Storer, p. 236, Exp. 192. 
Remsen, Exp. 102. 

80. Preparation of silver chloride. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 236, Exp. 192. 
Remsen, Exp. 103. 
Shepard, Arts. 241 and 242. 

81. Action of lead acetate on zinc. 

Remsen, Exp. 109. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 255, Exp. 204. 

Shepard, Exp. 136. 

82. Potassium chromate and dichromate. 

Remsen, Exp. 101. 

Shepard, Art. 297 (c) and (d). 


83. Preparation of barium and lead chromates. 

Remseri, Exp. 107. 

Shepard, Art. 297 (e), and 342 (a). 

84. Action of water upon lead. 

Remsen, Exp. 110. 
Shepard, Art. 237. 

85. Copper and mercury. 

Shepard, Art. 246, 4. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 280, Exp. 224. 

86. Aluminum and caustic soda. 

Eliot & Storer, p. 259, Exp. 206. 
Shepard, Art. 301. 

87. Alum and potassium carbonate (dissolved separately and poured 

together) . 
Shepard, Art. 301. 

88. Aluminum in hydrochloric acid and caustic soda. 

89. (Quantitative) Solvent power of water. 

Cooke, p. 36, Exp. 11. 

90. Composition of hydrochloric acid gas. 

Cooke, p. 70, Exp. 35. 

91. Illustration of law of definite proportions. 

Cooke, p. Ill, Exp. 63. 

92. Composition of nitric oxide. 

Cooke, p. 85, Exp. 44 (6). 

93. Density of hydrogen. 

Cooke, p. 60, Exp. 26 ; p. 128, Exp. 69. 

94. Specific gravity of carbon dioxide. 

Cooke, p. 130, Exp. 70. 

95. Specific gravity of vapor of alcohol. 

Cooke, p. 132, No. 71. 

96. Atomic weight of zinc. 

Cooke, p. 144, Exp. 74. 

97. Heat of hydration and solution. 

Cooke, p. 179, Exp. 79. 

98. Identification of substances by the characteristic properties. 

99. Five unknown substances, e.g., salt, potassium chloride, calcium 

chloride, ammonium chloride, barium chloride, given out for 


100. To solutions of sulphuric acid, sodium sulphate, potassium sulphate, 
ammonium sulphate, zinc sulphate, calcium sulphate, add a little 
hydrochloric acid and then a solution of barium chloride. To 
the chlorides of the same metals add the same reagents. 

. The books referred to in the preceding list are : 

1. "Elements of Inorganic Chemistry," by James H. Shephard. Publishers, 
D. C. Heath & Co. Boston. 1892. 

2. " An Elementary Manual of Chemistry," abridged from Eliot & Storer's 
Manual, by Wm. Bipley Nichols. Publishers, American Book Company. New 
York, Cincinnati, Chicago. 

3. " A Laboratory Manual," by Ira Remsen. Publisher, Henry Holt & Co. 
1890. New York. 

4. "Laboratory Practice," by Josiah Parsons Cooke. Publishers, D. Apple- 
ton & Co. 1891. New York. 

5. " Laboratory Manual of General Chemistry," by R. P. Williams. Ginn & 
Co. Boston. 1892. 



The Conference on the study of Natural History (biology, including 
botany, zoology and physiology) in elementary and secondary schools 
met, December 28, 1892, at the University of Chicago. 

There were present at the first session, Prof. C. E. Bessey of the 
University of Nebraska ; Prof. S. F. Clarke of Williams College ; 
Prof. D. H. Campbell of Leland Standford, Jr. University ; Presi- 
dent J. M. Coulter of the Indiana University ; Prof. C. B. Scott of 
the St. Paul High School ; Dr. O. S. Westcott of the North Division 
High School, Chicago, -and W. B. Powell of Washington, D. C. 

W. B. Powell was made Chairman, and Prof. C. B. Scott, Secre- 
tary of the committee. 

At subsequent sessions, Prof. A. H. Tuttle of the University of 
Virginia and Prof. A. C. Boyden of Bridge water Normal School 
joined the committee. 

Six sessions were held. At these sessions full discussion was had 
respecting the work in biology, adapted to primary schools, grammar 
schools and high schools. 

Courses of study were discussed at length and compared, while 
methods of instruction received due consideration by the committee. 
After full and harmonious discussion, in whose conclusions there was 
finally perfect agreement, results were reached as set forth in the 
following : 


QUESTION 1. In* the school course of study extending approxi- 
mately from the ages of six years to eighteen years a course 
including the periods of both elementary and secondary instruction 
at what age should the study, which is the subject of the conference, 
be first introduced ? 

Resolved, That it is the judgment of the Conference that, while the 
principles of hygiene should be included in the work of the lower grades, 
the study of physiology as a science may best be pursued in the later 
years of the high-school course. We recommend that in the high school 
a daily period, for one half year, be devoted to the study of anatomy, 
physiology and hygiene, with as large an amount of practical work as is 

Resolved, That the study of natural history (botany and zoology) 
should begin in the primary schools at the beginning of the school course. 


NOTE. The study of both plants and animals should begin in the lowest 
grades, or even in the Kindergarten. One object of such work is to train the 
children to get knowledge first hand. Experience shows that if these studies 
begin later in the course, after the habit of depending on authority teachers 
and books has been formed, the results are much less satisfactory. Experience 
shows also, that if from the beginning, " nature study " is closely correlated with 
or made the basis of language Avork, drawing, and other forms of expression, 
the best results are obtained in all. 

QUESTION 2. After it is introduced, how many hours a week for 
how many years should be devoted to it ? 

Resolved, That no less than one hour per week, divided into at least 
two periods, should be devoted, throughout the whole course below the high 
school, to the study of plants and animals ; that in this study no text book 
should be used, and that these observation lessons should, as far as 
possible, be made the basis of, or correlated with, work in language, 
drawing and literature. 

NOTE. It is agreed that, by exercising forethought in collecting materials 
and judgment in planning the work, the study of natural history can be continued, 
to the best advantage, throughout the whole year, instead of being confined to 
the fall and spring, as is now the practice in most schools where the study is 
pursued. Much can be studied during the winter which is not accessible at any 
other time. 

QUESTION 3. How many hours a week for how many years should 
be devoted to it during the last four years of the complete course ; 
that is, during the ordinaiy high school period ? 

Resolved, That a minimum of one year's study of natural history 
should be required in every course in the high school, and that at least 
three fifths of the time should be employed in laboratory work. 

NOTE. It is agreed that the year of study in natural history, recommended 
as a minimum for the high school, should be a consecutive year of daily recita- 
tions or laboratory work, and that it is better to have the year's work devoted to 
one subject, either botany or zoology, than to have it divided between the two. 

While the choice between botany and zoology should be made by the teachers 
or pupils, the members of the Conference, with one or two exceptions (the only 
point about which there has been any decided difference of opinion shown in 
their deliberations), believe that botany is better for the high school than zoology, 
because materials for the study of that subject are probably more easily obtained 
than those for the study of zoology ; because the study of plants is more 
attractive to the average pupil ; and because in the study of animals many 
prejudices or aversions have to be overcome. 

The study, to be of much value, must consist largely of laboratory work, 
actual work, by the pupils, with the plants or animals. This cannot be too 
strongly emphasized. 

The Conference also urges that, in addition to the year's study, recommended 
as a minimum requirement in every course in the high school, opportunity be 
given for additional work in these sciences. 


QUESTION 4. What topics or parts of the subject may reasonably 
be covered during the whole course? 

QUESTION 5. What topics, or parts, of the subject may best be 
reserved for the last four years? 

Resolved, That the general comparative morphology of plants and 
animals be recommended as the part of natural history most suitable for 
study in the secondary and lower schools ; that in the primary and 
grammar grades there should be a study of gross anatomy, and in the 
secondary schools a study of minute anatomy. 

NOTE. The study of botany and zoology should include a general view of 
the plant and animal kingdoms. Limiting the study of botany to flowering 
plants and of zoology to two or three sub-kingdoms of animals, gives the learner 
imperfect and distorted ideas. The plants and animals selected for study should 
be typical forms, or types, and at the same time, when possible, forms familiar 
to the students, or common in their vicinity. In the lower grades the work 
should be a study of living forms, of the plant growing and of the animal in 
action. Here the steps should be (1) life and function, (2) structure, (3) 
comparison. Mere analysis or identification is believed to be of very little 
value. Too many scientific or technical terms should be avoided. No text-book 
should be used below the high school. 

The work in the high school should be a study of minute anatomy and classi- 

Tiiroughout all the work the aim should be to make the observations and notes 
of the pupils systematic, clear and exact. Careful drawings should be insisted 
on from the beginning. If effort is made to have the pupils obtain clear and 
exact ideas, and to express them clearly and exactly in words or by drawings, the 
study will be successful as a department of science, and, at the same time, 
valuable and efficient as an aid in training pupils in the arts of expression. 

QUESTION G. In what forms and to what extent should the subject 
enter into college requirements for admission? Such questions as 
the sufficiency of translation at sight as a test of knowledge of a 
language, or the superiority of a laboratory examination in a scientific 
subject to a written examination oo a text-book, are intended to be 
suggested under this head by the phrase " in what form." 

Rcsolccd, That the year's work in natural history, as outlined for the 
Tiigh school, should be required for entrance to college in every course; 
that the examination should be both a written test and a laboratory test, 
and that the laboratory note books, covering the year's work, certified by 
the teacher as original, should be required at the examination. 

NOTE. The members of the Conference feel that, while an examination in 
science may be partly written, to test the pupil's general knowledge of the 
subject, it should be mainly a laboratory examination, to test his method of study 
and his ability in using it. 

QUESTION 7. Should the subject be treated differently, for pupils 
who are going to college, f >r t'.iose who are going to a scientific school, 
and for those who, presumably, are going to neither? 


QUESTION 8. At what stage should this differentiation begin, if 
any be recommended ? 

Resolved, That differentiation appears to be unwise and therefore not 

QUESTION 9. Can an} T description be given of the best method of 
teaching this subject throughout the school course ? 

Resolved, That the study of natural history in both the elementary 
school and the high school should be by direct observational study with 
the specimens in the hands of each pupil, and that in the work below the 
high school no text-book should be used, 

NOTE. See notes on Questions 3, 4 and 5. 

QUESTION 10. Can any description be given of the best modes of 
testing attainments in this subject at college admission examinations? 
NOTE. See answer to Question 6. 

QUESTION 11. For those cases in which colleges and universities 
permit a division of the admission examination into a preliminary 
and a final examination, separated by at least a year, can the best 
limit between the preliminary and the final examinations be approxi- 
mately defined ? 

Resolved, That the members of the Conference believe that a division 
of the admission examination is unwise, if the entrance requirement 
includes but one year of natural history study, but, that if the entrance 
requirement includes two years of such study, a division may be advisable ; 
in which case the preliminary examination should cover a general outline 
of the plant or animal kingdom with laboratory tests ; while the final 
examination should be a test for knowledge, and for skill in examining 
and showing some special phase of botany or zoology. 

The following action was taken in a joint session of the three 
conferences held in Chicago : 

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Joint Conference that at least one 
fourth of the time of the high-school course should be devoted to nature 
studies, and that this amount of preparation should be required for 
entrance to college. 


Though a full exchange of opinion was had respecting courses of 
study in the different subjects under consideration for the different 
grades of school, yet no course of study was made at the conference. 

It was agreed that Prof. Scott should outline a course of nature 
study, including both botany and zoology, for grades of school below 
the high school. 


That President John M. Coulter should prepare an outline of work 
in botany to be recommended for high schools. 

That Prof. O. S. Westcott should prepare an outline of work in 
zoology for high schools. 

That Prof. Albert H. Tuttle should outline a course in physiology 
for primar}" and secondary schools. 

That Prof. C. E. Bessey should report upon the best methods of 
teaching natural history throughout the schools, including recom- 
mendations for the use of instruments and note books. 

That Prof. A. C. Boy den of Bridge water Normal School should con- 
sider the form of examination to be adopted for admission to college. 

The sub-reports of Messrs. Scott, Coulter, Westcott and Tuttle are 
appended. A subreport submitted by Prof. Bessey which covers the 
ground of that submitted by Prof. Scott is not given here. Prof. 
Boyden reports that the resolutions passed by the Conference cover 
adequately the subjects referred to him. 

Respectfully submitted, 





1. It must be remembered that the primary object of nature study 
is not that the children may get a knowledge of plants and animals. 
The first purpose of the work is to interest them in nature. This must 
be done before other desirable results can be obtained. The second 
y purpose is to train and develop the children ; i. e., to train them to 
observe, compare, and express (see, reason, and tell) ; to cause them 
to form the habit of investigating carefully and of making clear, 
truthful statements, and to develop in them a taste for original in- 
vestigation. The third purpose is the acquisition of knowledge. 
This, however, must be "gained by actual experience," and it must 
be "knowledge classified," or science. 

For the attainment of these objects, interest, power, knowledge, 
the children must study the plant ; no book should be used by them. 
The effort of the teacher should be so to interest and guide them, that 
they will learn how to work profitably. 



2. The children should study the plant as a whole, not merely a 
part, as seeds, leaves, flowers ; it is a mistake to limit the work to 
one part to the exclusion of the others, and is as great a mistake to 
allow the children to study the parts without leading them to see the 
mutual relations and dependence of the parts. 

3. The stud}*- should not be restricted to flowering plants, as trees 
and weeds, but should be extended as well to flowerless plants, such 
as ferns, horse-tails, mushrooms and toadstools, mosses, lichens, 
fungi, and fresh and salt-water algae. Those children who carry the 
work through eight years should obtain a fair idea of the plant king- 
dom, including its principal divisions. Those who stop short of the 
eight years' work should have a general idea of the whole plant as a 
type of the plant kingdom, more or less detailed and generalized ac- 
cording to the amount of time spent in school. 


4. The plant should be studied as a living organism and not merely 
as a form or structure. The child should learn that each part has 
something to do, and he should discover that what it does, and the 
way in which it does it, determine its form and structure. The study 
of seeds, buds, or flowers should begin with growth and development 
or unfolding, which should lead to an investigation of use or function, 
and, finally, to an examination of structure. The comparison of the 
uses and structure of different plants results in classification. 

The order of study is : 

Life, growth, and development. 

Use or function. 




5. The plant should be studied in its relations to its environment, 
light, air, water, soil, climate, and other plants, and in its relations 
to the lower animals and to man. For the time being the plant is the 
centre of the world. The study furnishes many opportunities for 
coordinating science work with the other studies of the school, and 
at the same time for showing man's use of plants and his dependence 
on them. 

6. As 3 r oung children cannot generalize, it seems wise to limit the 
work during the first two 'years to the study of the germination, de- 
velopment, growth, and structure of three or four typical plants, like 
the bean, pea, and sunflower, studying, of course, only those features 




that are easily understood. Gradually more details may be studied, 
and other kinds of plants, flowering and floweiiess, examined, caus- 
ing the pupils' ideas to be more and more complete and generalized. 

7. Whatever is being studied, the questions to be answered are : 
What? Why? How? 

First: What does it do, and what is it? 

Second : Why does it do so, and why is it so ? 

Third: How does it do it, and how did it become so? 
At first little can be done but answer the question " what" ; grad- 
ually " what " includes so many particulars that an answer to "why" 
becomes possible; before the end of the course, "how" can and 
should be answered. 

8. In the study, during the earlier years, of germination and of 
buds and flowers, that which appeals most to the children is the pro- 
vision for the protection and care of certain parts ; later the perfect 
order of nature will be seen, when the idea of system and plan may 
be developed. In time the highest function of the plant must be 
shown, that of reproduction, when the plant should be studied as an 
arrangement for producing seeds. While all these thoughts should 
be developed by slow degrees from the beginning, it seems wise to 
emphasize them in the order suggested. The central thoughts 
should be : 

For the first and second years, care and protection. 
For the third, fourth, and fifth years, order and system. 
For the sixth, seventh, and eighth years, reproduction. 


9. Observation becomes more critical if its results are expressed 
b} T the observer. For the younger children, motion, stitching, model- 
ing, drawing and painting, are more "expressive" than speech. 
Speech, as the most universal method of communicating ideas, should 
be emphasized in all but the earliest ye&rs of the course. A drawing 
gives better ideas of form and of relations of parts than can be given 
by verbal description. It will be found that often the simplest and 
quickest way for pupils to get clear, sharp ideas about the objects 
they are studying is to have them draw the objects. 

Coordination with other Studies. 

10. Nature stud}' will not succeed unless it is coordinated with 
other studies. It should not be pushed into the course as an extra, 
but should be made the basis of much of tfie other work of the school. 
Experience has shown that when it is used as a basis for the early 
training in language and drawing, an interest in these studies is 


easily secured 1 and sustained. It is more pleasing to pupils to express 
ideas, resulting from their own observations, than to copy the expres- 
sions of others, or to put into somewhat different form expression ob- 
tained from teacher or book. The study of nature is a necessary 
preparation for a full understanding of much beautiful and valuable 
literature. Opportunities for connecting such work 'with geography 
are almost numberless. By means of this work, even arithmetic may 
have reality, and thus new life, infused into it. 

Time of Year for Studying. 

11. It seems wise that the study of plants should begin in early 
spring time, from February to April, and that it should be particularly 
emphasized then, though not restricted to that season of the year. 
Much can be done in the fall and even in mid-winter. The Confer- 
ence has urged that the study of plants be continued throughout the 
year, at least twice a week. 

Central thought : Care and protection. 

Seeds and Germination. 
Let the children : 

1. Plant beans and watch their growth. 

2. When the seedlings are two or three inches high, study the seed 
in its parts. 

3. Study the pea in a corresponding way, and then compare it with 
the bean, noting first the differences and then the resemblances. 

4. Study seed and plant, in each case, in relation to their surround- 
ings, air, water, and sunlight. (Children should be led to discover 
the uses of the different parts, first to the plant and then to animals 
and man.) 

5. Continue the observations on the bean and the pea during the 
remaining part of the school year, noting the development, use, and 
general structure of buds, stems, roots, leaves, and, if possible, of 
flowers and fruit. 


The study of buds should be carried on in connection with the work 
In germination suggested above. 

Let the children : 

1. Gather branches having large buds, such as the horse-chestnut, 
the elder, or the lilac ; put them in water ; watch them, and tell about 
their development and the gradual unfolding of their parts. 


2. Study the stem and its parts, wood, bark, and pith, their uses 
and structure. 

3. Later, study fresh buds and compare them with those which 
have unfolded. 

4. Compare the first bud studied with some other large bud. 

Reproduction and Flowers. 

In connection with the study of buds, call the attention of the chil- 
dren to the catkins of the willow, the poplar, and the hazel, and then 
to the flowers of the elder, the lilac, and, if possible, of the bean and 

Let the children : 

1. Find dust-bearing (staminate) and seed-bearing (pistillate) 
flowers and parts of flowers. (This will give opportunity to develop 
the idea that flowers are for the production and protection of seeds.) 

2. Study the dissemination of seeds that fly, as those of the dande- 
lion and the milkweed ; seeds that sail, as those of the maple and the 
basswood ; seeds that stick, as those of the burdock and the tick; 
seeds that fall, as those of the bean and the pea. 

3. Study fruits. (They should learn the use of fruit to the plant 
and to man.) 

As early as may seem wise the teacher should develop, largely by 
stories and supplementary reading, the use of the other parts of the 
plant to the flowers and seeds. 

Results of Two Years' Work. 

At the close of the second year the children should have a fair idea 
of the plant as a whole, knowing something of all its parts, of their 
uses and relations, and particularly of the ways in which the plant 
and its parts are cared for and protected. 


Central thought : Care and protection leading to order and system, 
and plan. 

Seeds and Germination. 

Let the children : 

1. Study the bean, the pea, the sunflower, and the pumpkin, as 
before, but more in detail, discovering something of the order or plan 
of growth, and searching for answers to the questions "why" and 

'2. Study, more in detail, plants before studied, and examine other 
plants to learn the uses of the different parts of the seedling and the 
relation of the plant to its surroundings. 


3. Discover where the seeds are formed, how they escape from the 
ovary, and how they are disseminated. 

4. Compare the development and structure of the seeds suggested 
above with those of the morning glory and the four-o'clock, and learn 
the classification into albuminous and exalbuminous seeds. 

Let the pupils : 

1. Study the same buds as before, but more in detail, to discover 
the order shown in the buds and their parts. 

2. Compare these with several other buds, including some of the 
small ones, for the purpose of noticing their positions and arrange- 
ment, as well as their protection. 

3. Study, as an introduction to leaves, the arrangement and. fold- 
ing of leaves in the buds, and watch their unfolding, still noting the 
order and plan. 

4. Study and watch in a similar way the development of flower buds. 

Let the children : 

1. Watch the unfolding of the leaves in the bud and notice their 
protection and arrangement as suggested before. 

2. Note the uses of leaves and their parts, stipules, stalk, and 
blade, and of veins, epidermis, breathing pores, and pulp. (In con- 
nection with the uses of veins they should study venation.) 

3. Study the positions, arrangement, and parts of leaves with ref- 
erence to their uses ; their relation to sunlight, air, rain, and the 
directing of water to the roots. 

4. Study the positions of leaves with reference to buds, and note 
the order and plan shown in bud and leaf. 

By means of charts or blackboard outlines, to which pupils may 
constantly refer, they should be familiarized with the more common 
forms of the leaf as a whole, and of base, apex, and margin, and 
should be trained to give orderly, exact, concise descriptions. 

Reproduction and Flowers. 

Develop by the study of the flowers themselves the fact that there 
are two kinds of flowers, those with seed boxes (pistillate) and those 
with boxes containing a .powder (staminate). By the study of the 
willow, maple, and early meadow-rue, develop the fact that these two 
kinds of boxes may be, and usually are found, in the same flower. 

Let the children : 

1. Discover that both seed boxes (ovaries) and pollen boxes (an- 
thers) are found in all kinds of flowering plants. (Both, then, must 
be very important.) 


2. Note how well they are protected in bud and flower. (Thft 
floral envelope can be studied simply, at this stage, as a protection 
for stamens and pistils.) 

3. Now study the use of the pollen and its function in the forma- 
tion of seeds. 

4. Note the order and plan of the flower and of its parts. 

5. Learn now the fact that the main work of the plant is to pro- 
duce seeds, and that root, stem, and leaf cooperate in this work. 

Result of Four Years' Work. 

At the close of the fourth } T ear the pupils should be thinking about 
the " why" and the " how " of the world around them ; the}' should 
have some knowledge of the order and system which prevails in na- 
ture, and should begin to comprehend something of the plan of com- 
mon plants, of their reproduction and growth, and of the general uses 
and the gross structure of their parts. 


Central thought : System, plan, and purpose. 

The plant as an organism for producing seeds or new plants. 

Seeds and Germination. 
Let pupils : 

1. Review at least two exalbuminous and two albuminous seeds. 

2. Plant corn, watch its development, and then study the seed and 
its parts, and afterwards study the pine seed in a corresponding way. 

3. Review classification into exalbuminous and albuminous seeds 
for the purpose of classification into monocotyledons, dicotyledons, 
and polycotyledons, and learn that cotyledons are modified leaves. 

4. Study the practical uses to man of the albumen stored in the 

Let the children : 

1. Review as much as may seem necessary. 

2. Study buds with respect to their positions and arrangement. 

3. Examine the rings left by the falling of the bud-scales, and 
learn the story the rings tell. 

4. Examine the buds of underground stems and the characteristics 
of stems as distinguished from roots. 

5. Study the relations of positions, arrangement and development 
of buds- to the shape or character of trees. Learn by a study of the 
trees themselves, the causes of the development and non-development 
of buds. 



1. Study roots and root hairs and their uses to the plant, and the 
positions and kinds of roots, as well as their various uses to the plant 
and to man. 

2. Examine the stem or a branch of an ordinary tree. Study the 
arrangement and character of its different parts, and their uses to the 
plant and to man ; learn how such plants grow ; compare these with 
a corn stalk ; learn how this stalk grows ; learn the classification of 
stems into exogenous and endogenous. 

3. Study the relation of the structure of the stem to its method of 
growth ; of the number of cotyledons to the character and venation of 
the leaves, and the plan of the flower. 


Let the children : 

1. Continue the study of function and arrangement, as suggested 
for third and fourth years. 

2. Study the leaves as arrangements for directing water to the 
roots, and try to discover the relation between the arrangement of 
branches and that of the leaves ; between the length of the leaf-stalk 
and the shape of the leaves. 

3. Continue the examination of the forms of leaves. Study and 
describe compound leaves. 

4. Study the changes of color and the falling of leaves, particularly 
in the autumn, and their causes. 

Reproduction, Flowers and Seeds. 

Let the children : 

1. Review as much as may seem necessary. 

2. Discover how the pollen escapes from the anther. Study 
dehiscence of anthers. 

3. Discover how the pollen gets from anther to pistil. Study 
methods of and arrangements for fertilization ; the relations of flowers 
and insects, and the use to the plant of color and odors. 

4. Discover how the pollen gets into the ovary. 

5. Study the flower as a whole, as an arrangement for producing, 
protecting, and disseminating seeds. 

6. Study the provisions of nature for matured seeds. (Much of 
this can be done in the earlier years of the course ; it should be em- 
phasized now.) 

Lead the children to discover : 

1. How the seeds separate, often with the surrounding parts, from 
the plant. 

2. How they are disseminated. 


3. How they escape from the ovary. 

a. By being enclosed in fleshy, edible parts. 

b. By having leaflike attachments, or wings, or hairy appendages. 

c. By bearing prickles, spines, hooks, etc. 

d. By being so light as to be carried by the wind. 

e. By having springs or elaters. 

4. How seeds are protected through the winter. 

5. How the embryo gets out of the enclosing coats. 

6. What provision is made for the little plant after it begins to 

Let them : 

7. Study leaves, roots, and stems in their relations to the flower, 
as organs for taking in, conveying, assimilating, and storing up nour- 
ishment for the formation of flowers and seeds. 

8. Study ferns, mosses, liverworts, and horse-tails, and compare 
them with the plants before studied. Examine those as well as mush- 
rooms, puff-balls, lichens, and fungi for spore cases and spores, and 
discover the fact that all are plants, and that all produce what corre- 
spond to seeds. 

Result of Six Years' Work. 

Pupils are self-reliant and independent ; they can observe, reason, 
and express ; and they have a fair knowledge of the whole plant and 
its life history. 


Lead pupils to note the germination of spores of mould ; and study 
as carefully as possible the spore cases and spores of puff-balls, mush- 
rooms, moulds, and other fungi, liverworts, mosses, ferns, horse-tails, 
lichens, lycopeds, stone worts, and fresh and salt-water algae. 

Roots, Stems, and Leaves. 
Let pupils : 

1. Study the forms and modifications of roots (including aerial 
roots) and stems (including underground stems) , to learn their uses 
to the plant and to man. 

2. Examine the forms of leaves (scales, cotyledons, prickles, ten- 
drils, pitchers, etc.), to learn their uses to the plant and to man. 

3. Study the movements of leaves, tendrils, and rootlets, and ex, 
amine or read about climbing plants. 

4. Study the parts and the plan of the flowerless plants suggested 
above, and compare them with the flowering plants that have been 


Reproduction, Flowers and Fruit. 
Let pupils : 

1. Review as much of the work of the previous years as may seem 

2. Study flowers whose floral envelopes are more or less grown to- 
gether and otherwise modified, and learn classification into apetalous, 
polypetalous, and gamopetalous. 

3. Examine the clustered flowers, gradually leading to the study 
of composite. 

4. Become familiar with the characters of several of our common, 
sharply-defined families of flowering plants. 

5. Study the flowers of the cone-bearing trees, and learn the classi- 
fication into angiosperms and gymnosperms. 

6. Restudy the flowerless plants suggested above, and learn the 
classification into phenogams and cryptogams, and study the char- 
acteristics of the principal divisions of cryptogamous plants. 

7. Investigate the movements of flowers and their parts. 


Laboratory work should be the chief feature of the year's course in 
botany recommended for secondary schools. No books should be put 
into the hands of the pupil, except such as are to be used as labora- 
tory guides or as books of reference. Table-room, a good compound 
microscope magnifying from at least 50 to 300 diameters, and a few 
ordinary reagents in small quantities (including at least alcohol, po- 
tassic hydrate, glycerine, iodine and other staining fluids), should be 
furnished each pupil. The work should consist of the careful study 
of typical plants, each selected to represent a prominent group of 
plants or an important phase of plant development. This study of 
types should not become a study of isolated and hence barren facts. 
Frequent lectures or talks will be found valuable for broadening the 
outlook of pupils and for leading them to see the true significance of 
the work they are doing, while frequent examinations of work and of 
pupils will be indispensable. Experience has shown that a good allot- 
ment of the five weekty periods allowed for this work will be made by 
giving three of them to laboratory work, one to lecturing and one to 

The study of a plant should consist of an examination of all its 
essential features ; such as its cell structure ; its mode of develop- 


ment ; its mode of reproduction ; in short, as much of its life-history 
as is possible. Careful examination of specimens is secured best by 
careful sketching. Too much importance cannot be given to drawing, 
as it is not only an excellent device for securing close observation, but 
it is also a rapid method of making valuable notes. A very few ver- 
bal descriptions may accompan}' the sketches to make their meanings 
clear. These sketches and notes should be made in a permanent 
note-book, for future use. 

Below is suggested a list of plants that will be serviceable in this 
proposed general survey of the plant kingdom. It must be remem- 
bered that man}' other plants will do as well as those named ; for this 
reason .the specimens to be studied in the various groups must be 
determined by the teacher, according to location or other conditions. 
All the principal groups of plants are well represented in the flora of 
any region, with the exception of the red and brown sea-weeds. 
These groups, however, should not be neglected. By forethought 
sea- weeds may be easily provided. Plants may be preserved in weak 
alcohol (35 to 50%) ; dried specimens can be kept indefinitely and 
soaked when wanted for use. 

It is much more satisfactory and scientific to begin with the study 
of the simplest forms than with complex forms, not only because they 
are more easily understood, but also because this order of study will 
give the learner some idea of the evolution of the plant kingdom from 
simple to complex forms. It is believed that the numerous advan- 
tages offered by this order of study, advantages which have been 
proved by much experience, outweigh the supposed advantages of- 
fered by beginning with the study of more complex forms. 


1. The simplest forms can be represented by the green-slimes, such 
as species of Chroococcus and Oscillaria, both to be found usually 
about springs and in shallow water. These could well be supple- 
mented by Nostoc and other forms. It is not advisable to attempt 
any study of bacteria, yet they could be easily demonstrated at this 
point and their importance indicated. 

2. The green algae should be studied by means of such forms as 
Protococcus, Cladophora, CEdogonium^ Spirogyra^ Desmids, and Vau- 
cheria. The doubtful but very interesting and common Diatoms 
might also be studied in this connection. It would be a very remark- 
able region in which all these forms could not be found abundant, 
since they constitute the most common green growths in water and 
damp places. 

3. The brown algae are well represented by the common Fucus or 


"rock-weed," aud the il kelps" (Laminaria, etc.) which can be ob- 
tained in abundance from the sea-shore. 

4. The red algae, also to be obtained from the sea-shore, can be 
studied in such common forms as Callithamnion, Polysiphonia, Chon- 
drus, Corallina, or Grinnellia, etc. 

5. The fungi should be represented by such plants as Muncor, 
Cystopus, some common powdery mildew (such as that found on lilac 
leaves), a cup fungus, a lichen, some rust (such as wheat-rust), a 
puff-ball and a toadstool. 

6. Now the stone- worts ( Chara or Nitella ) should be studied if 
material is convenient. 

7. The Bryopliytes would be fairly represented by the study of a 
single liverwort and a moss. 

8. The Pteridopliytes could be studied in some ordinary fern; any 
greenhouse will furnish a supply of fern prothalli. If possible, the 
view of the group should be enlarged by the examination of an 
Equisetum or club-moss. 

9. The Gymnosperms are well represented by the common Pinust- 

10. The Phanerogams should be represented by a monocotyledon 
(such as Trillium or Erythronium) , and a dicotyledon (such as 

Such a list of forms will give the student a very intelligent idea of 
the plant kingdom. It is possible, in one year, to study thoroughly 
as many types as are here enumerated ; thorough work, however, 
should be done even though the number of specimens examined should 
be reduced. It will undoubtedly be claimed that many of these forms 
are entirely unfamiliar to teachers. It can only be said in reply, that 
under such circumstances the teaching of any forms could hardly be 
profitable, and that study for a single season at any one of the numer- 
ous summer schools where botany is taught will enable such teachers 
not only to understand these forms, but also to collect materials with 
which to teach them, as well as to know how properly to direct 
their use. 

As it is desirable that t':e year of work should be continuous, we 
recommend that it begin in September and continue uninterruptedly 
throughout the school year. Nearly all the plants suggested, or 
others that may be chosen, can be found in the autumn and early 
winter in sufficient numbers and in good condition for study. Many 
of these ma}' be properly preserved for use, while a common green- 
house, or a tank, or a few jars of water, will yield a full supply of 
others needed during the winter months. 



Several considerations have influenced the arrangement of the 
following scheme of work in zoology for secondary schools. 

1 . It is unfortunately true that many students at secondary schools 
will have had no instruction, or but desultoiy instruction, in any 
department of Natural History. In devising a plan of work for the 
secondary schools, such students must not be overlooked. 

2. It is incontestable that neither an elaborate scheme of classifi- 
cation, nor the very fine points that enter into a discussion of the 
possible beginnings of things are easily comprehended by untrained 
minds. Hence, both ultimate classfication and primordial things 
must, at first, be left out of consideration. 

3. Success in teaching is sometimes jeopardized by the early 
presentation of disagreeable features of the subject taught. It is 
desirable to postpone the consideration of these, if it can be done 
without essential loss, until the interest of the student has been so 
secured as to induce him to face the disagreeable for the sake of 
probable though distant advantage. Hence everything like dissection 
should be postponed until the eager curiosity of the t}TO overcomes a 
possible nervous timidity incident to anatomical investigation. 

4. In some sections of our country it is difficult to obtain materials 
which are wastefully common in other sections. It is believed, 
however, that, by the exercise of a little forethought and diligence on 
the part of the instructor, the materials here suggested can be 
obtained at slight expense in any part of the United States. 

5. The contemplated work in zoology is intended to occupy the 
student's time five hours per week for one year of forty weeks. 
These two hundred hours work are to be employed, one hundred 
twenty in laboratory research, and eighty in reports on laboratory 
and text-book work. 

The work may begin with a living fish for stud}'. The ordinary 
carp (gold fish) will answer an admirable purpose. The fish should 
be studied in its entirety as a living organism ; its mode of locomotion, 
its body-covering and all other visible parts, thoroughly familiarized. 
Subsequently, the pupils should be provided with other fishes. As 
large a variety of fishes as possible should be studied for comparison, 
Perch are usually obtainable, as are also smelts in their season, and 
other common varieties of fishes, whether the school be located inland 
or on the seaboard. 

Some general ideas of classification may be here introduced, but 
minutiae which are likely to produce weariness and consequent 


distaste should be avoided. Close anatomical investigation ma} 7 well 
be left for future study. Concerning this the shrewd teacher will 
determine for himself. He will not lay down rules from which no 
circumstance may swerve him, but rather will be guided in some 
respects by the abilities of his class, irrespective of what has been 
done by previous classes. As this elementary work with fishes will 
furnish materials for subsequent constant reference it should not be 

The microscope may well be employed in calling attention to the 
structure of the scales. No better subject will ever be found for 
exciting interest among young naturalists than these scales offer as 
exhibited by polarized light. Two or three weeks or more, of time 
here occupied will yield abundant fruitage in future stud}'. Proper 
supervision of notes and drawings made by the pupils will lead them 
to appreciate and acquire the true method of making valuable 
descriptions, regarding and recording the essential while disregarding 
the non-essential. 

It is believed that by means of the work suggested above there will 
be aroused in the pupils an interest which will render them 
enthusiastic in pursuing a course of lessons like the following. The 
preferences of the teacher, as well as the conditions offered by 
locality, will be factors in determining the individual species to be 
used for study and illustration. The text-book, which should be a 
brief one, should be supplemented by books of reference to be 
consulted when special organisms or other topics are under discussion. 

The Protozoa. 

The study of these animals may well begin with the Amoeba. 
Specimens which by proper forethought may easily be secured should 
be before the class. All the conditions that enter into a full determi- 
nation of the position of the Amoeba as belonging to the animal 
kingdom need not be sought by the class. Reference to the fish 
already made a subject of special study will aid greatly in determining 
some of the conditions that should be learned. Life, sensation, 
voluntary motion, use of oxygen, use of organic food, protoplasm 
are naturally some of the facts that must be seen and understood. 
The question of calcareous vs. siliceous frame-work will naturally be 
postponed. Following a discussion of the Amoeba, some rhizopod, as 
Actinophrys, which is sufficiently common, may well receive a little 
attention. Of the Infusoria, Stentor, Vorticella, Paramoecium which 
are always obtainable will excite great enthusiasm in pupils. 


The Porifera. 

Spongilla is accessible in almost every locality, while on the sea- 
coast marine sponges may be obtained. 

The Coelenterata. 

Hydroids maj* be procured on the sea-coast and kept dry in 
mass. Preserved in alcohol they make excellent class specimens. 
Specimens mounted on slides for the microscope will aid in giving 
pupils definite ideas of the appearance of the animals when alive. 
When possible, living specimens should be provided. The fresh- 
water hydra should not be overlooked ; the work, at least, of polyps 
is always obtainable. 

The Echinodermata. 

A supply of starfishes, sea-urchins and crinoicls is indispensable. 
The mode of growth of crinoids as indicated by fossil remains may 
be, in a certain sense, paralleled by the hydroids and Vorticellae 
already somewhat familiar. 

The Vermes. 

The earth worm furnishes cheap and abundant material for study. 
With a good microscope in use it will not be surprising if representa- 
tives of the Gregarinidae are discovered by the inquisitive student. 
The teacher may thus have an excellent opportunit} r to impress on 
the minds of the pupils the fact that school work is at best but a 
beginning, and that abundant opportunities are offered for further 

The Mollusca. 

The clam, whether marine or other, will here serve an excellent 
purpose. Univalves should receive a share of attention. Some ideas 
of classification may be developed in this branch with satisfactory 
results from the conchological side, even with malacology temporarily 
disregarded. The development of gasteropods, being a subject of 
absorbing interest, may well occupy a small share of attention. 

The Arthropods. 

Lobsters, edible crabs and crayfish, which are all easily obtained, 
may be dissected with little repugnance on the part of learners. For 
the study of minute Crustacea, Cyclops and Daphnia are available 
everywhere. On a larger scale shrimps or sand fleas are abundant, 
and on the coast the different stages of growth of the common crab 
and living barnacles furnish abundant materials for study. 



A special and, so far as possible, thorough study of some common 
species of grass-hopper will prepare the pupils for the further investi- 
gation of Insects. The Cuverian rather than the modern and more 
accurate classification of insects will be found of great practical value. 
Representatives of the Diptera, the Neuroptera, the Coleoptera, the 
Hemiptera, the Lepidoptera, and the Hymenoptera may be made 
subjects of special study, possibly in the order named. The pupils 
themselves will easily arrange a crude classification of insects as 
follows : 

1 Coleoptera, 
~ , 
( Lepidoptera, 

2. Haustellata { 


1^ Diptera. 

The Vertebrata. 

1. FisJi. In schools away from the coast the characteristic features 
of sharks and rays may well be enforced by the use of alcoholic 
specimens. Fossil fishes or fragments of the same, as teeth and 
cales, will be found useful here. The presence of scales, the 
classification of fishes as homocercal or heterocercal, and the question 
of edibility ma}' well be discussed together. As many types of fishes 
as can easily be obtained should be studied for purposes of classifi- 
cation. The local markets ina} r be drawn upon very advantageousl}'. 

2. Batrachians. Special studies of toads and frogs and such 
salamanders as are procurable will be of advantage-. Nocturus should 
be made a subject of special investigation. 

3. Reptiles. Lizards, snakes and turtles need attention. By this 
time a comparative examination of the circulatory apparatus of the 
classes of vertebrates will furnish opportunity for much stud^y. The 
terms, cold-blooded and warm-blooded begin to have definite signifi- 
cance now, while the different types of heart suggest reasons for, or 
concomitants of, many other conditions of life, that have been 

4. Birds. The comparison of vertebrate differences and resem- 
blances should continue with the study of birds. The structure of 
the vertebrae themselves will demand considerable attention. The 


close relationship of birds and reptiles despite their outward dissimi- 
larity will at once suggest itself to the thoughtful observer. 

5. Mammals. The teacher will be his own best judge as to the 
needs of his class in the broad field here before him. Physiological 
models, manikins, etc., subserve an excellent purpose, if the 
dissection of some mammal, as a rabbit or a cat, cannot conveniently 
be accomplished. The work can thus be made to furnish valuable 
human anatomical information if not to culminate in the study of 
human anatomy. 

Ideas, before somewhat crude, in what has been called physiology, 
may now be crystallized into permanent and available shape. 

It must not be forgotten that the plan here outlined is only 
suggestive. It is perhaps hardly necessary to repeat that drawings 
and written descriptions should be constantly required. Close 
observation and accurate expression are mutually helpful. 

Withal it should be constantly borne in mind that the acquisition 
of facts is not the most important desideratum. Discipline, 
intellectual growth, and broad and varied culture should be the aims 
to which the acquisition of special information will be properly 


44 It is the judgment of this Conference that, while the principles of 
hygiene should be included in the work of the lower grades, the study 
of physiology as a science may best be pursued in the later years of 
the high-school course. We recommend that a, daily period for one 
half year be devoted in the high school to the study of anatomy, 
physiology and hygiene, with as large an amount of practical work as 
is possible." 

The recommendations of the report upon this portion of the work 
of the Conference are based upon the following considerations : 

The study of physiology is in a great measure the study of the 
mechanics, the physics, and the chemistiy of the living body ; before 
it can be pursued profitably the student should have, at least, a fair 
elementary knowledge of these sciences as fundamental. It is not 
possible to teach it as a science to pupils devoid of such knowledge ; 
any effort to do so is apt to lead either to the bewilderment of the 
learner, or else to attempts at "simplification" on the part of the 
instructor which convey erroneous ideas unless the teacher has excep* 
tional knowledge and skill. 


The study of physiology demands as a prerequisite a certain amount 
of anatomical knowledge, and much of what is called physiology in 
elementary text-books on that science consists of statements concern- 
ing the anatomy of the human body that are of more or less import- 
ance as a basis for physiological knowledge. It is, in the judgment 
of this Conference, not desirable to teach a great deal of anatomy to 
young children. Such instruction is likely to lead, in some instances 
at least, to morbid if not prurient curiosity that is productive of far 
more evil than the instruction is likely to counterbalance with good. 

Considerations such as these lead to the conviction expressed in 
the resolution of the Conference concerning the teaching of physiology 
in the lower grades. It is their belief, however, that simple and 
practical instruction upon the subject of personal health and its care 
ma} T with advantage be given to young children. Such instruction, 
however, should rather be given and received (as many other things 
concerning conduct must be received by young children) upon 
authority, than as an appeal to the judgment of the pupil as based on 
his physiological knowledge. 

Instruction in hygiene adapted to the capacity of young children 
may be profitably given on the subjects of personal cleanliness ; pure 
air, and the relation of the carriage of the body to healthy respiration ; 
wholesome foods, and moderateness and regularity in their use ; 
regular arid sufficient sleep ; regularity in other bodily habits ; care as 
to temperature, and prudence concerning exposure ; and abstinence 
from narcotics and stimulants, and from drugs generally. 

Where instruction in physiology and hygiene is required in the 
primary grades by the law of the state, it may be preceded by a 
simple account of the structure of the body. It should include brief 
and elementary discussions of the principal groups of functions ; and 
should lay greatest stress, as is the intent of the law in most cases, 
upon such simple precepts of hygiene as may be clearly understood 
and practiced by the child. 

What has already been said concerning the study of physiology as 
a science, will, if accepted, justify the opinion expressed by the Con- 
ference that such study may best be pursued in the later years of the 
high-school course. It should follow rather than precede the portion 
of the course devoted to physics and chemistry, as well as such other 
biological study as the course provides for. 

While physiology is one of the biological sciences, it should be 
clearly recognized that it is not, like botany or zoology, a science of 
observation and description ; but rather, like physics or chemistry, a 
science of experiment. While the amount of experimental instruc- 
tion (not involving vivi-section or experiment otherwise unsuitable) 


that may with propriety be given in the high school is neither small 
nor unimportant, the limitations to such experimental teaching, both 
as to kind and as to amount, are plainly indicated. For this reason 
the study of physiology as a component of the high-school course 
should be regarded as of importance rather as an informational than 
as a disciplinary subject, and should be taught largely with reference 
to its practical relations to personal and public hygiene. 

It should be preceded by a brief study of the general plan of the 
body. As each group of functions is taken up, the organs involved 
should be specially studied both as to their anatomy and their histol- 
ogy. Anatomical demonstrations should be made whenever possible 
upon fresh material from the bodies of domestic animals ; where fresh 
material cannot be obtained, permanent alcoholic preparations prop- 
erly dissected may be shown ; models and engravings of the organs of 
the human body may, with advantage, be exhibited in connection with 
demonstrations of the same organs, from the bodies of the lower ani- 
mals most available for comparison ; but dependence should never be 
placed entirely on such artificial representation, if original specimens 
can be obtained. All anatomical teaching in this connection should 
keep clearly in view the physiological knowledge to which it is sub- 
servient ; attention should be directed to the structural features of 
greatest importance in this respect ; and facts of purely morphological 
significance should be disregarded, whenever attention to them would 
distract the mind of the pupil from the study of the relation of struct- 
ure to function. 

Demonstrations of the histological structure of the various organs 
of the body require the use of a good microscope, with powers to 
four or five hundred diameters. A set of thirty or forty permanent 
preparations may be provided, which will suffice to show all that is 
most important, but it will add greatly to the interest of the student 
and to the reality of the knowledge obtained, if the teacher is able to 
make a portion, at least, of such preparations in the presence of the 
class. If the possession of a number of microscopes renders it possi- 
ble, it is very desirable that an opportunity be afforded students for 
making for themselves preparations of, at least, the simple structural 
elements that may be dissociated by teasing or other methods, as 
well as of sections and other complex preparations which the school 
equipment will permit. Such practical exercises in histology may 
properly accompany the anatomical dissections that students should 
be, as far as possible, encouraged to make for themselves. 

The obvious limitations to experimental work in physiology in the 
high school, already referred to, make it necessary for the student to 
acquire much of the desired knowledge from the text-book only. 


Nevertheless, much may be done by a thoughtful and ingenious 
teacher to make such knowledge real, by the aid of suitable practical 
exercises and demonstrations. Space will not permit a detailed state- 
ment in this report, of the various ways in which this may be accom- 
plished, but a few typical instances may be cited, such as artificial 
salivary and peptic digestion ; the study of arterial circulation, as 
illustrated by the movement of a rhythmically impelled fluid in elastic 
tubing toward a variable resistance ; the working of a model of the 
respiratory mechanism, and the illustration of the optics of normal 
(and abnormal) vision, by means of a properly constructed schematic 
e}'e. As excellent examples of direct physiological experiment, at 
once practicable and valuable, may be mentioned the experimental 
studj r of the sensations and their illusions, notably the tactile and the 

The instruction in hygiene for the high-school course may, in addi- 
tion to a fuller discussion of the subjects cited in a previous portion 
of this report, discuss matters advantageously which concern the 
adult, though beyond the control of the child ; as examples, may be 
mentioned the subjects of dietetics ; of heating and ventilating ; of 
water supply and drainage. Such instruction should now include a 
consideration of the reasons which underlie the rules of hygiene, and 
the student should be encouraged and guided in efforts to make 
practical application, in this respect, of the knowledge which he has 
acquired by the study of physiology. 

Finally, attention should be called to the fact that, while it is true 
of the sciences generally, it is eminently true of physiology, that it is 
vain to expect good results in the classroom unless the subject is 
taught by well-trained teachers. No person should be regarded as 
qualified to teach physiology in a high school, whose preparation has 
not been at least as thorough as that of his fellow-teachers in mathe- 
matics or the languages. 




Dear Sir, Herewith we respectfully submit the resolutions 
reached by the Conference held at Madison, "Wisconsin, Dec. 28-30, 
1892, to consider the teaching of History, Civil Government, and 
Political Economy in the schools ; together with an explanatory 
report. In an appendix will be found brief categorical answers to 
your specific questions. 

Time to be occupied. 

1. Resolved, That history and kindred subjects ought to be a 
substantial study in the schools in each of at least eight years. 
[Report, 7-9, 16.] 


2. Resolved, That American history be included in the program. 
[Resolutions 14, 16 ; Report, 12-14, 16, 17.] 

3. Resolved, That English history be included in the program. 
[Resolutions 14, 16; Report, 12-14, 16, 17.] 

4. Resolved, That Greek and Roman history, with their Oriental 
connections, be included in the program. [Resolutions 14, 16 ; Report, 
12-14, 16, 17.] 

5. Resolved, That French history be included in the program. 
[Resolution 14; Report, 12-14, 16.] 

6. Resolved, That one year of the course be devoted to the inten- 
sive study of history. [Resolution 14 ; Report, 15, 16.] 

7. Resolved, That the year of intensive study be devoted to the 
careful study of some special period, as for example the struggle of 
France and England for North America, the Renaissance, etc. [Re' 
port, 14-16, 33.] 

8. Resolved, That a list of suitable topics for the special period be 
drawn up as a suggestion to teachers. [Report, 14-16.] 

0. Resolved, That formal instruction in political economy be 
o:nitted from the school program ; but that economic subjects be 
treated in connection with other pertinent subjects. [Resolution 30 ; 
Report, 19.] 


10. Resolved, That to American history in the first group of studies 
be added the elements of civil government. [Resolutions 28, 29 ; 
Report, 1G, 18.] 


11. Resolved, That the eight-year course be consecutive. [Resolu- 
tion 14; Report, 10, 16.] 

12. Resolved, That the first three years of study be devoted to 
nythology and biography based on general history and on American 

history. [Resolution 14; Report, 16, 30.] 

13. Resolved, That the point at which the program should be 
divided into two groups be fixed at the beginning of the high school 
course. [Resolutions 14, 16; Report, 6, 10.] 

14. Resolved, That the Conference adopt the following as the pro- 
gram for a proper historical course. [Report, 10, 13, 14, 16.] 

1st year. Biography and mythology. 

2d year. Biography and mythology. 

3d year. American history ; and elements of civil govern- 

4th year. Greek and Roman history, with their Oriental con- 

[At this point the pupil would naturally enter the high school.] 

5th year. French history. (To be so taught as to elucidate 

the general movement of mediaeval and modern 

6th year. English history. (To be so taught as to elucidate 

the general movement of mediaeval and modern 


7th year. American history. 
8th year. A special period, studied in an intensive manner ; 

and civil government. 

15. Resolved, That the Conference frame an alternative six-year 
program. [Report, 17.] 

16. Resolved, That the following program be recommended for 
schools which are not able to adopt the longer program. [Report , 


1st year. Biography and mythology. 
2d year. Biography and mythology. 

[In the intervening year or years, if any, historical reading should be pursued 
as a part of language study.] 

3d year. American history, and civil government. 

[At this point the pupil would naturally enter the high school.] 

4th year. Greek and Roman history, with their Oriental con- 


5th year. English history. (To be so taught as to elucidate 
the general movement of mediaeval and modern 

6th year. American history and civil government. 

17. Resolved, That in no year of either course ought the time 
devoted to these subjects to be less than the equivalent of three 
forty-minute periods per week throughout the year. [Report, 
7-9.] ft 

Methods in History. 

18. Resolved, That it is desirable that in all schools history should 
be taught by teachers who not only have a fondness for historical 
study but who also have paid special attention to effective methods 
of imparting instruction. [Report, 25, 26.] 

19. Resolved, That in the first two years oral instruction in biog- 
raphy and mythology should be supplemented by the reading of simple 
biographies and mythological stories. [Report, 16, 17, 30.] 

20. Resolved, That after the first two years a suitable text-book or 
text-books should be used, but onl}' as a basis of fact and sequence 
of events, to be supplemented by other methods. [Report, 27-29.] 

21. Resolved, That pupils should be required to read or learn one 
other account besides that of the text-book, on each lesson. [Report, 

22. Resolved, That the method of study by topics be strongly 
recommended, as tending to stimulate pupils and to encourage inde- 
pendence of judgment. [Report, 33.] 

23. Resolved, That the teaching of history should be intimately 
connected with the teaching of English : first, by using historical 
works or extracts for reading in schools ; second, by the writing of 
English compositions on subjects drawn from the historical lessons ; 
third, by committing to memory historical poems and other short 
pieces ; fourth, by reading historical sketches, biographies and 
novels, outside of class work. [Report, oO-34.] 

24. Resolved, That, so far as practicable, pupils should be encour- 
aged to avail themselves of their knowledge of ancient and modern 
languages, in their study of history^- [Report, 30, 32, 34.] 

25. Resolved, That the study of history should be constantly 
associated with the study of topography and political geography, and 
should be supplemented by the study of historical and commercial 
geography, and the drawing of historical maps. [Report, 35.] 

26. Resolved, That in all practicable ways an effort should be 
made to teach the pupils in the later years to discriminate between 
authorities, and especially between original sources and secondary 
works. [Report, 15, 33.] 



27. Resolved, That a collection of reference books, as large as the 
means of the school allow, should be provided for every school, suita- 
ble for use in connection with all the historical work done in that 
school. [Report, 23, 24, 30, 31.] 

Civil Government and Political Economy. 

28. Resolved, That civil government in the grammar schools 
should be taught by oral lessons, with the use of collateral text-books, 
and in connection with United States history and local geography. 
[Report, 18.] 

29. Resolved, That civil government in the high schools should be 
taught by using a text-book as a basis, with collateral reading and 
topical work, and observation and instruction in the government of 
the city, or town, and State in which the pupils live, and .with com- 
parisons between American and foreign systems of government. 
[Report, 18.] 

30. Resolved, That no formal instruction in political economy be 
given in the secondary schools, but that, in connection particularly 
with United States history, civil government, and commercial geog- 
raphy, instruction be given in those economic topics, a knowledge ol 
which is essential to the understanding of our economic life and 
development. [Resolution 9 ; Report, 19.] 

Relations with Colleges. 

31. Resolved, That the instruction in history and related subject* 
ought to be precisely the same for pupils on their way to college or th^ 
scientific school, as for those who expect to stop at the end of the 
grammar school, or at the end of the high school. [Report, 2, 11.] 

32. Resolved, That the examinations in history for entrance to 
college ougli't to be so framed as to require comparison and the use 
of judgment on the pupil's part, rather than the mere use of memory. 
[Report, 20, 21.] 

33. Resolved, That satisfactory written work done in the prepara- 
tory school ought to be accepted as a considerable part of the 
evidence of proficiency required by the college. [Report, 21.] 

34. Resolved, That, where a division is permitted, the entrance 
examinations in history ought usually to be a part of the final exami- 
nations for college rather than of the preliminary examination. [Re~ 

port, 22.] 

Resolution of Thanks. 

35. Resolved, That the Conference extend its thanks to the 
University of Wisconsin and citizens of Madison for their gracious 
hospitality. [Report, 1.] 


i. Basis of the Discussion in the Conference. 

By the politeness of the University of Wisconsin and of the 
citizens of Madison, your Conference was invited to hold its sessions 
in that city. The convenient rooms of the Seminary of Political 
Science were placed at oar disposal, and the cjurtesy and hospitality 
of the people of the city did much to make our stay agreeable and 
to facilitate the work. We held two prolonged sessions on each 
of three days. At the first session steps were taken to prepare a 
program, and on the adjournment of the sixth session all the subjects 
of that program had been examined and our conclusions formulated 
in definite resolutions. It was our effort to examine the ground 
thoroughly, to find out what was being done by the schools on the 
subjects assigned, and to suggest an harmonious and comprehensive 
scheme of historical study. 

Of the ten members one was a college president ; one the principal 
of an academy including primary as well as secondaiy grades ; two 
were high school principals ; and six were college professors of 
history, civil government, or political economy. Several members 
had had experience in other grades of schools, as teachers, superin- 
tendents, or members of school governing boards. The Conference 
was further materially assisted b}' the advice of Professors Frederick 
J. Turner and Charles H. Haskins of the University of Wisconsin, 
and of Mr. Wells, State Superintendent of Education for Wisconsin. 
At least twelve states in the Union, extending from Maine to 
Virginia, and west as far as Iowa, were represented by men who 
had lived in them, and who knew something of their system of 

Without assuming to speak for the great body of teachers of 
history and kindred branches throughout the Union, we believe that 
we are acquainted with, and fully represent, the opinions of many 
thoughtful individuals in widely distributed parts of the country. 

It may be further stated that upon each of the thirty-five resolu- 
tions which were framed, the Conference voted unanimously. This 
does not mean that, for the sake of harmon^y, members withdrew 
strongly-felt opposition to some of the resolutions ; but that in each 
vote, as finally formulated, every member of the Conference heartily 

Besides their natural desire to see the instruction in their favorite 
study improved, it is the mature conviction of the members of the 
Conference, as teachers, that the subjects in question, especially when 


taught by the newer methods herein advocated, serve to broaden and 
cultivate the mind ; that they counteract a narrow and provincial 
spirit ; that they prepare the pupil in an eminent degree for enlight- 
ened and intellectual enjoyment in after years ; and that they assist 
him to exercise a salutary influence upon the affairs of his country. 
Hence it is the especial desire of the Conference to see these 
advantages as widely diffused as possible. 

2. Fundamental Questions, 

Four fundamental questions confronted the members of the Con- 
ference upon assembling. They were : how Jar they should make 
recoinmendations which could be applied only in favored parts of the 
country ; whether they should recommend an ideal^ program, or_a 
simpler program practicable in good schools with their present 
means and apparatus ; how far they should insist on a uniform pro- 
gram ; and what relations they should suggest between the schools 
and the colleges. 

On the first point we agreed that the recommendations should be 
the same for all. ( 10.) Upon the second point, the recommenda- 
tion of an ideal program, the Conference was unanimously of the 
opinion that it would suggest nothing that was not already being done 
by some good schools, and that might not reasonably be attained 
wherever there is an efficient system of graded schools. (9.) 

Upon the third question we especially trust that we may not be 
misunderstood. It would not be our purpose, if we had the power, to 
reduce the teaching of history to one uniform program carried out on 
a uniform method. We believe that the time devoted to history and 
allied subjects should be increased ; that the subjects treated should 
not be confined to our own couutrj' ; and that the dry and lifeless 
system of instruction by text-book should give way to a more 
rational kind of work ; but our recommendations will have little 
effect unless they are carried out in an intelligent and discriminating 
spirit, which will alter the details according to local necessities and 

As to the fourth question, we believe that the colleges can tal 
care of themselves ; our interest is in the school children who have 
no expectation of going to college, the larger number of whom will 
not enter even a high school. This feeling is strengthened by the 
consideration that proportionally a much smaller number of the girls 
go to college than of the boys, and it is important that both sexes 
shall be well grounded on these subjects. An additional responsi- 
bility is thrown upon the American system of education by the great 
number of children of foreigners, children who must depend on the 


schools for their notions of American institutions, or of anything 
outside their contracted circle. Hence our recommendations are 
in no way directed to building up the colleges, increasing the 
number of college students, or taking out of the hands of the 
colleges the historical work which they are especially fitted to do. 
( 10, 11, 20-22.) 

3. Usual Objects of Historical and kindred Studies. 

At the outset a clear statement of the objects of historical training 
is necessary. The result which is popularly supposed to be gained 
from history, and which most teachers aim to reach, is the acquire- 
ment of a body of useful facts. In our judgment this is in itself the 
most difficult and the least important outcome of historical study. 
Facts of themselves are hard to learn, even when supported by 
artificial systems of memorizing, and the value of detached historical 
facts is small in proportion to the effort necessary to acquire and 
retain them. When the facts are chosen with as little discrimination 
as in many school text-books, when they are mere lists of lifeless 
dates, details of military movements, or unexplained genealogies, 
they are repellant. To know them is hardly better worth while than 
to remember, as a curious character in Ohio was able to do some 
years ago, what one has had for dinner every day for the last thirty 
years. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that facts in history 
are like digits in arithmetic ; they are learned only as a means to an 


4. Training of the Mind. 

The principal end of all education is training. In this respect 
history has a value different from, but in no way inferior to, that of 
language, mathematics, and science. The mind is chiefly developed 
in three ways : by cultivating the powers of 'discriminating observa- 
tion ; by Strengthening the logical faculty of following an argument 
from point to point; and by improving the^process of comparison, 
that is, the judgment. 

As studies in language and in the natural sciences are best adapted 
to cultivate the habits of observation ; as mathematics are the tradi- 
tional training of the reasoning faculties : so history and its allied 
branches are better adapted than any other studies to promote^', he 
invaluable mental power which we call the judgment. Hence states- 
men have usually been careful students of history. History is 
a subject unequalled for its opportunities of comparison, for it is pre- 
eminently a study of the relation between cause and effect. History 
combines the advantages of a philosophical and a scientific subject : 
upon the one side, it is a study of the human mind, of character, and 


motives ; upon the other hand, historical records form a body of 
material which, in the demand its analysis makes upon the mind, 
may be compared with that of chemistry or geology. Indeed it has 
some practical advantages over science ; for the examples in a 
geological or mi::eralogical museum fill many shelves, while in his- 
tory the}' may be brought within the covers of a few books. The 
value of history is increased if it is looked upon in part as a labor- 
atory science, in which pupils learn to assemble material and from it 
to make generalizations. ( 31-33.) 

" Since grappling witli history is grappling with life," says an able 
teacher, " the main aim in teaching history is to develop those powers 
in the pupil which will best serve him in life.'* In almost every 
other subject taught in the grammar schools the basis of knowledge 
is fixed ; the child meets axioms in mathematics, and takes in his 
reading and geography without reasoning upon them ; history prop- 
erly taught offers the first opportunity for a growth of discriminative 
judgment ; it should train the pupil to throw away the unimportant 
or unessential, and to select the paramount and cogent. It may be 
so taught, also, as to lead him in some degree to compare and weigh 
evidence ; that is, through history a child should be taught to exercise 
those qualities of common-sense comparison, and plain, everyday judg- 
ment which he needs for the conduct of his own life. Historical 
material is as abundant and familiar as geological ; books, or at least 
newspapers, are to be found in every home ; and the methods of his- 
torical criticism may be applied constantly to the news or gossip of 

the household. 

5. Other Advantages. 

History has long been commended as a part of the education of a 
good citizen. Locke said : u History is the great mistress of pru- 
dence and national knowledge." Milton said that children ought all 
to know the beginning, the end, and reasons of political societies. 
" History," says Bacon, " supplies examples." " Histor}-," says an 
English writer, " furnishes the best training in patriotism, and it 
enlarges the sympathies and interests." This is particularly the case 
with the history of one's o-vn country, and America needs the traiiv 
ing because we Americans know that our country is great, better than 
we know why it is great. 

A significant advantage of history is that, intelligently taught, it 
maybe a medium for the literary expression of the pupils (32). 
Where but in a school in which history is well considered, could one 
hear a child sum up her judgment of the character of the English 
race in so cogent a phrase as this: "The English have such a 
sticking quality " ? History is the source of a great number of con- 


Ventional metaphors and allusions. Eveiy intelligent child knows 
what is meant by crossing the Rubicon, by meeting- a Waterloo, by 
ringing out like a liberty bell. History abounds in literary material. 

Another very important object of historical teaching is moral train- 
ing. History is the study of human character. " Perhaps the most 
valuable part of our work" says a teacher, " is that we are all made 
teacher as well as pupil to learn personal lessons from history, to 
watch the course of humanity as we would that of an individual, to 
shun its errors, and make use of its excellencies " ; and it is a study 
in which the mistakes and failures of national life, like those of priv- 
ate life, become suggestive warnings. 

To sum up, one object of historical study is the acquirement of 
useful facts ; but the chjef object is the training of the judgment, 
in selecting the grounds of an opinion, in accumulating materials for 
an opinion, in putting things together, in generalizing upon facts, 
in estimating character, in applying the lessons of history to current 
events, and in accustoming children to state their conclusions in their 
own words. 

6. Time to begin historical and kindred Studies. 

With these general objects in view, your Conference has attempted 
to settle how much time may reasonably be devoted to the subjects 
which it has been asked to discuss. First of all comes the prelim- 
inary question, at what time may children profitably begin to study 
history? Upon this subject there seems to be a general concurrence 
of opinion among the persons whom we have consulted. An interest 
in the stories and adventures in which history abounds may be culti- 
vated as soon as children begin to read at all. On the question 
where the formal and systematic study of history is to be begm, there 
is more divergence ; two of the most eminent New England superin- 
tendents say, at ten years ; others would begin at about twelve. In 
the opinion of your Conference children from nine to eleven may well 
begin b} 7 reading historical selections from standard authors, and the 
careful study of history ought not to be dela} r ed beyond the eleventh, 
or at the latest, the twelfth year ; our recommendations (Resolutions 
12, 14) provide for at least two years of methodical study of history 
in the grammar school. 

7. Question of consecutive Study. 

Next comes the question, over how many .years ought the study of 
history to be distributed? At present the average seems to be one 
year in the grammar schools, and two years in the high schools. A 


few cases have been found in which history is systematically taught 
in each of four or five years of a high school course. 

The inquiry involves the question of consecutive stud}'. Shall we 
recommend a course in which the instruction shall be massed in a few 
years, a considerable number of recitation periods being appropriated 
in each ; or shall we recommend that the study be pursued in a few 
exercises through a long succession of } T ears? The German plan of 
education certainly turns out boys who are acquainted with details of 
history, and are able to make generalizations ; that system calls for 
recitations in histor}' and geography twice a week during the first two 
years, and three times a week during the following eight years of the 
course. The Germans believe, as the result of careful thought and 
observation, that the system of short courses with man}* exercises is 
pernicious ; they find that the student educated in this way acquires a 
temporary interest only ; and that the knowledge obtained, even 
though at the moment it may be more thoroughly comprehended, and 
may make a more vivid impression on the mind, is not so assimilated 
and made a part of the intellectual bone and sinew of the future man, 
as it is when, even once or twice a week, the subject is continued 
through a considerable number of years. In American schools the 
tendenc}' is to compress the subject into a short period. The result is 
that histoiy and kindred subjects assume an entirely different position 
in the minds of pupils, from that of studies continuously pursued. 
They get a notion that history ends and then begins again ; the 
histories of different countries seem to them disconnected ; and the 
value of historical training is almost lost by interruption and want 
of practice. We strenuously recommend, therefore, (Resolution 1) 
that "Histoiy and kindred subjects ought to be a substantial study 
in each of at least jsight^years " ; and (Resolution 11) that "The 
eight-year' course be consecutive. " 

8. Time now devoted to the Subjects. 

In this, as in all these recommendations, it is not our purpose to 
lay down a hard and fast system for all schools under all conditions ; 
but we do consider it essential that history be made a substantial sub- 
ject for a fair number of hours during a considerable number of years. 
The actual time now devoted to these subjects is in most schools less 
than the importance of the subject demands. The smallest allowance 
observed in an} T school which pretends to teach history is twice a 
week for a term of twelve weeks. A very common allowance is once 
a week for a year in Ancient History, manifestly a cram for 
entrance to college. A study of the reports of four hundred students, 
seems to show that two hundred recitation periods, or five periods a 


week for a 3*ear, is a little above the average in the grammar schools ; 
but in about three per cent of the cases as many as six hundred 
recitation periods are given in the grammar schools. 

The secondary schools show a similar lack of uniformity. The 
smallest allowance observed is seventy-two exercises apparently 
twice a week for a year in two of the best known endowed acade- 
mies of New England. In some cases history and kindred subjects 
reach seven hundred exercises in all ; the largest allowance seems 
to be about nine hundred and lift}' exercises during the secondary 
course. Perhaps the most thorough course which has come under 
our observation is that of a New England academy : three hours a 
week throughout the four years, or about four hundred and eighty 
exercises ; but these are full hours with very thorough collateral 
work. The present average in high schools would seem to be two 
hundred to two hundred and forty periods in all. 

Upon the question of the proper allowance for histoiy, experienced 
persons differ ; but two of the best known school superintendents in 
the country agree that it should continue during eight or nine years. 
The head of an excellent normal school suggests three hours a week 
through the whole course of study. 

9. Time recommended. 

Your Conference has considered these fundamental questions with 
due seriousness, and recommends (Resolutions 14, 16, 17) that the 
actual time devoted to history be 4^>t less than three forty-minnte 
periods per week throughout the course of eight years,^ a total of 
about nine hundred exercises in all. This is ,no more than is being 
done b}~ some favored schools, and it has the support of many prac- 
tical educators acquainted with the details of schools. It is, in the 
judgment of the Conference, a reasonable time to be devoted to 
the group of subjects history, civil government, and political 
economy. It is about one-eighth of the school time of the child 
during two- thirds of his whole course, extending to the end of the 
high school. Where is this time to be found ? We respectfully ask 
you to consider whether there are not some subjects in the grammar 
school curriculum which may reasonably give up part of their time to 
history. We particularly suggest that, in accordance with Resolu- 
tion 25, the time given to political geograplr^ be so applied as to 
connect that subject with the study of history. To history may be 
assigned part of the time saved by a rational rearrangement of arith- 
metic. Finally, in view of the probable improvement in the study of 
English through the proper teaching of history, (Report, 5, 32 ; 


Resolutions 22, 23) we ask for a share of the time now devoted to 
language study. 

It is not our expectation that such radical changes can be brought 
about in a moment ; nor would the recommendation be innde, but for 
the belief that the community expects a new provision for those 
subjects. We believe that the program which we suggest might at 
once be put into operation in the whole system of schools in some 
large cities ; and that once established, it would gradually extend to 
schools where the conditions are less favorable. 

10. Distribution of Time. 

How shall the time thus suggested be distributed among the years 
of the school course? It has seemed to us desirable to introduce 
about one-half of the consecutive study of history into the grammar 
schools".) The reasons for this arrangement hardly need be stated. 
The great majority of our children never pass beyond the grammar 
schools, and if these subjects are interesting, stimulating, and edu- 
cating, they ought to be introduced early enough to accord their 
advantages to the child who does not enter the high school. (2.) 
If the course is to be consecutive, distinct historical instruction 
would therefore begin four years before the pupil enters the high 
schools, and would end only with the high school course. 

ii. Question of Discrimination for those preparing for College. 

The questions sent down by the Committee of Ten for our consid- 
eration include the following : "Should the subjects be treated 
differently for pupils who are going to college, for those who are 
going to a scientific school, and for those who, presumably, are 
going to neither?" 

Several educational authorities advise such a separation. One 
New England superintendent thinks that a difference should be made 
" for the sake of its reflex effect on the secondary and primary 
schools" ; others urge a more liberal provision for those who are not 
to go to college than for those who will have a later opportunity to 
study history ; others think that the differentiation is made necessary 
by the preparation for college examinations ; but no one seems to 
defend the system unhappily prevailing in some institutions, by 
which those who are to get most training hereafter are the only ones 
who have any training in history in the schools. 

The Conference believes that such a distinction, especially in 
schools provided for the children by public taxation, is bad for all 
classes of pupils. It is the duty of the schools to furnish a well 


grounded and complete education for the child ; it is the duty of 
higher institutions to accept a well grounded and complete education 
as a suitable preparation for entrance upon their courses. Whatever 
improves the schools must improve the colleges ; but our function 
seems to be simply to recommend the best system which we can 
devise for the schools, without taking into account any subdivision of 
pupils. (Resolution 30.) 

12. Usual Subjects. 

It appears from a comparison of the statements of college students 
that of one hundred and fifty-four who have studied history in the 
schools, seventeen have studied general histor}-, twenty-two ancient 
history, and thirty-seven English histoiy. In the high schools 
ancient^ history is far more common because many colleges require it 
as a subject for entrance. The next subject in favor is English 
history. American history is studied in only about one-third as 
many instances in high schools as ancient histoiy, and in one-half 
as many schools as is English histoiy. General history is about as 
common as American history. Our most enlightened advisers favor 
a considerable variety of subjects, and an enlargement of the histori- 
cal curriculum of the grammar schools. Many of them urge the 
introduction of English histoiy, European history, and, in a few 
cases, French histoiy. In the state of Wisconsin a recent effort 
has been made to induce high schools to offer at least one half-year 
of ancient history and one-half 3'ear of English histoiy. 

A course in general history is frequently suggested ' ' because the 
general outline is necessaiy to secure a true idea of historical per- 
spective. . . . Get the outline at the very start, and then keep filling 
it in." (The opinion of the Conference is decidedly agajnstjsmgle 
courses in general histor}vbecause it is almost impossible to carry 
them on without the study degenerating into a mere assemblage of 
dates and names. Most text-books used in such courses are dry and 
lifeless ; better books do not give a sufficiently clear and exact picture. 
We admit the advantage of a broad outlook, but contend that it is 
not to be had by gathering together a mass of details with no oppor- 
tunity to show their relations. 

The outlook can better be obtained by connecting the general 
course of events with the history of one or more countries. ( 16 ; 
Resolution 14.) Fortunately the subject of history, like that of 
natural science, is one in which the educational advantages may be 


obtained without covering the whole field. It is important to look at 
the histoiy of several countries side by side, and to notice the general 
movement of history, but that advantage may be gained indirectly in 
connection with specific subjects. (14, 15.) 

13. Subjects recommended. 

Out of the specific subjects we recommend Greek, Roman, Eng-j 
lish, American, and French histoiy ; and European history taught in I 
connection with English and French history or in the year of intensive 
study. (Resolutions 2-7, 14, 16.) For the first three of these sub- 
jects the argument cannot be better stated than in the words of a 
practical teacher of history: "History is a unity. . . . The past 
lives in the present. I have no time for dry facts. I can give my 
children only life. Now what people of old times live most in the 
nineteenth century ? . . . The tasks that press upon us to-day were 
first recognized in Greece. Here man put before himself in definite 
shape the specific problems that he wills to solve. Here he marked 
out the bounds of government, art, philosophy, literature, science ; 
formulated and tested their principles ; saw and stated clearly their 
problems. The work of the European world was mapped out in 
Greece, and here direction was given to human effort perhaps forever. 
So the study of history must begin with Greece, for in Greece all 
history is found in a nut-shell. . . . 

" Roman history is the great central ganglion by which the history 
of the world is connected ; Rome handed lo us the civilization of 
Greece, gave us community of thought and ideals, rules us to-day in 
civil and ecclesiastical law. Hence Roman history lives in the pre- 
sent and must be taught. . . . 

* ' English history .has solved the problem of preserving local 
authoritj', selfish devotion to which wrecked Greece, and yet organ- 
izing it as efficiently as Rome did her empire. England teaches the 
world the secret of constitutional government and lives in every free 
state to-day. Hence English history must be taught." 

American history needs no argument ; it is already widely intro- 
duced ; and the danger is not that it will be neglected, but that the 
schools m&y think it sufficient in itself. -.French histoiy also com- 
mends itself to the Conference, because from the twelfth to the 
eighteenth centuries France was the leading nation of Europe, , and 
her history is in a sense the history of civilization. General Euro- 
pean historj r has the advantages of offering subjects capable of 
detailed and intensive study, and of furnishing a contrast to that 
development of the Anglo-Saxon race which is the main thought of 
English and American history. ( 15.) 



14. Inter-relation of Subjects. 

In arranging these various subjects we recognize the desirability 
of offering a small number of subjects thoroughly taught, rather than 
of breaking up the courses into many detached parts. (7.) At 
the same time there should be a logical relation between the parts, 
and a use of the comparative method. As the teacher quoted above 
sa} r s : "To impress the unity of history upon my children ... I must 
feel it myself in its every detail. ... I must feel the points of similar- 
ity and difference between the Athenian dikasteries and the Anglican 
jury system. . . . Constant comparison, cross references, the show- 
ing of the past in the present is the very substance of my teaching." 

Hence the importance of choosing a suggestive point of view from 
which comparison is easy. "The proper organization and govern- 
ment of a State is the highest task presented to man. Hence the 
greatest emphasis in class work should be placed on political and 
constitutional history. ... I find that my pupils turn with the 
greatest interest to the constitutional problems of history ; they feel 
their political importance as bearing upon the issues of to-day. One 
of my girls said to me not long ago : ' I am just as much interested 
in watching the growth of the House of Commons as in watching the 
plants in my window.' ' 

The opportunity for comparison and the training gained from a 
study of other systems are both lost if the study of history is confined 
to that of our own country. The details of that history are to a cer- 
tain degree "absorbed through the pores"; for it is constantly 
discussed in periodicals and newspapers. On the other hand our own 
history is best understood in the light thrown upon it by other history. 
" We are all Americans ; that is to say we have all been surrounded 
by a given political and social atmosphere from our birth. We are 
thus in no position to understand our institutions. The more vitally 
important these are, the more inherent the peculiarities of our civiliza- 
tion, the less apt we are to become conscious of them." While 
Including American history as a considerable part of the work, we 
urge that in all schools the history of some other country in addition 
to that of the United States be pursued. 

15. Intensive Study. 

The history of any great country is so extensive that the schools 
can hardly expect to teach more than an outline. Another system 
which has in it many elements of highly valuable training is to select 
a brief period and put intensive study upon it. This is the practice in 
one of the best schools for girls to be found in New England : " The 


fourth year of the course is devoted to a special stud}' of the period of 
American history extending from 1760 to 1790. The method is 
purely topical, no text-book being used." The importance of this 
intensive study was so strongly presented to the Conference that, after 
mature deliberation, it was voted that provision should be made for 
one year of such study. (Resolution 6.) This will offer an oppor- 
tunity to apply, on a small scale, the kind of training furnished by the 
best colleges ; it will teach careful, painstaking examination and 
comparison of sources ; it will illuminate other broader fields of 
history ; and it will give the pupil a practical power to collect and use 
historical material, which will serve him and the community through- 
out all his after life. 

By vote of the Conference (Resolution 8) the following list of 
topics suitable for a year's intensive study is submitted, in accordance 
with Resolution 6 : 

1. The Struggle between France and England for North America. 

2. Spain in the New "World. 

3. The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Period. 

4. Some Phase of the Renaissance. 

6. The Puritan Movement in the Seventeenth Century. 

6. The Commerce of the American Colonies during the Seventeenth and 

Eighteenth Centuries. 

7. American political Leaders from 1783 to 1830. 

8. The Territorial Expansion of the United States. 

9. American Politics from 1783 to 1830. 

10. The Mohammedans in Europe. 

11. The Influence of Greece upon modern Life. 

12. Some Phase of the Reorganization of Europe since 1852. 

13. Some Phase of the Reformation. 

14. Some considerable Phase of local History. 

It will be noticed that the list gives no preference to the history of 
one country over that of another. In any case, these subjects are only 
suggestive and many intelligent teachers will be able to find topics 
which the interest of their students and the resources of their libraries 
may make more suitable. 

1 6. Distribution of Subjects and Eight-Year Program. 

Perhaps the most difficult task of the Conference was to draw up a 
program in which a proper selection of subjects should be properly 
distributed. The result of our labors is set forth in Resolutions 12 
and 14. 

That the work of history should begin with elementary studies in 
biography and mythology, reenforced by good historical reading, needs 
no argument. The interest of the pupil is thus stimulated and he is 


prepared to take up more serious study when the time comes. After 
two years of this kind of study in the grammar schools, a year of 
Am^encjRjLjnstory is next suggested because that is the subject in 
which local interest is most readily aroused, in which good parallel 
reading is easiest to find, and with which it is easiest to connect some 
study of civil government. For the fourth year we recommend 
"Greek and Roman history, with their Oriental counections." This 
order of subjects was strenuously urged in the Conference by profess- 
ors and teachers of American history, upon the express ground that 
the large number of pupils who leave the schools at the end of the 
grammar school course should not be deprived of the opportunit} r of 
learning something of other civilizations. Classical history is now 
usually taught as a perfunctory subject in connection with studies in 
the Greek and Latin languages, and is rarely studied except by 
those who expect to go to college. This is an entirely wrong con- 
ception of the value of ancient history ; it ought to be pursued for the 
sake of broadening the pupil's mind, widening his horizon, and bring- 
ing him into contact with a civilization so different from our own that 
it will suggest points of difference and comparison. No part of our 
recommendations seems to us more important than this, that some- 
thing in addition to American history be taught in the grammar 
(schools. It will be noticed, however, that in the six-year alternate 
course it has been found necessary to shift the Greek and Roman 
history to the first year in the high school (Resolution 16). 

In the fifth and sixth years of historical study (the first and second 
years in the high school) we recommend French history and English 
history ; here it is believed that the advantages of general history can 
be obtained without its drawbacks ( 12). The intention of the rec- 
ommendation is, that French history shall be considered as the 
central or leading history of Europe, about which shall be grouped 
the history of other countries. The subject, by its contrast, is an 
excellent means of bringing out the peculiarities of the following 
subject, English history, which the teacher should make the center of 
the great political and constitutional movement which England best 
exemplifies. In the seventh year it seems fitting that American 
history should again be taken up, this time with more reference to the 
development of the government and the character of statesmen. It 
seems particularly desirable to bring this phase of American history 
late in the course, when the students are more mature. Finally, in 
the eighth year, a subject is to be taken up for intensive or detailed 
study ( 15). In this year we have desired to give the~~scn~ools an 
opportunity to arrange a course each according to its own materials. 

In this program we have not adopted either of two common ideas 


as to the proper arrangement and relation of courses. The subjects 
as recommended do not follow one another in chronological order, 
although from the fifth to the seventh year they form a logically 
connected series. Nor has it seemed desirable to recommend a 
method not uncommon in Germany, by which the student begins 
with the history of his own city and widens out to his nation, to 
Europe, and perhaps eventually to the rest of the world. The effect 
of this process in suggesting the relative importance of countries is 
perhaps shown by the name of a hotel in Paris : "H6tel de I'Univers 
et des fitats Unis." What is most distant geographically is most 
distant also in thought ; if this process is at any point interrupted 
the child is left with the feeling that the world stops where his study 
has ceased. 

17. Alternative Six-Year Program. 

Although strongly of the opinion that a minimum of three exercises 
a week during eight years is no more than good schools ought to pro- 
vide, and that time may be found for it without sacrifice of other 
interests of the pupils ( 9), we nevertheless recognize the practical 
difficulties which in many schools would prevent the introduction of 
so elaborate a system. We have therefore drawn up an alternative 
program for a six-year course (Resolution 16). The principal differ- 
ences are^he omission of French history as a separate subject, and the 
omission of the intensive study of a special period^ there is the fur- 
ther defect of leaving the grammar schools with ndother formal study 
than American history. Nevertheless the Conference believes this 
course to occupy no more time than is already given in a considerable 
number of schools, and to be an improvement upon most of the 
present programs, particularly if it is properly connected with the 
study of historical literature. ( 30-32.) 

1 8. Civil Government. 

Civil Government is pursued at present in very few grammar 
schools, certainly in not more than one-sixth of those which have 
come under our observation. It is, however, rather a frequent sub- 
ject in high schools, about one-third offering some sort of instruction 
in it. In actual teaching it seems little associated with history ; it is 
usually simply a text-book study during a part of one year ; and very 
few of the teachers seem to be familiar with the subject. 

Among experienced teachers there seems to be a difference of 
opinion as to the proper place of the subject. Some would introduce 
it early in elementary form, on general topics ; others would make it 
an elaborate study late in the high school course. The Conference in 


Resolutions 10, 14 and 16 has attempted to reconcile these two prin- 

/ciples by introducing the study in two places, but always in connec- 
tion with history, and as an adjunct to that subject. 

While recognizing the importance of the study of government as a 
discipline and as an education for American citizens, we do not feel 
justified in recommending more time for the subject than is now 
employed by the best schools. We expect that it will occupy, includ- 
ing the elements of political economy ( 19), about one-half the time 
devoted to the group of historical and kindred studies in each of the 
two years recommended ; and we believe that this distribution is 
much better than the more common system of giving the subject a 
considerable number of hours during a few weeks onlj T . But it is 
expected that good teachers in dealing with history throughout, and 
especially with American history, will constantly refer to the forms 
and functions of government with which the children are most 

The question what subjects should be taught and what ground covered 
in the study of civil government is one which we have not thought it 
necessary precisely to determine. One system begins with the local 
government, as nearest to the child, and thence leads up through the 
State to the national government. Another method takes up first that 
which is most likely to attract the imagination of the child, the great 
machinery of the national government and its more striking functions, 
such as the postoffice, the army, the navy, and the collection of 
customs. Another principle is to associate with government practical 
ethics and rules of conduct. Each one of these systems, properly 
taught, has its value and may come within a program of history 
and kindred branches. Your Conference would, however, express 
the belief that the theoretical questions of government, such as the 
origin and nature of the state, the doctrine of sovereignty, the theory 
of the separation of powers, etc., are very difficult to teach to children ; 
and further, that a system of ethics can better bo taught by example 
and by appealing to common sense and to accepted standards of 
conduct, than by formal lessons. On the other hand the simple 
principles underlying the laws which regulate the relations of individ- 
uals with the state, may be taught by specific instances and illustra- 
tion ; and the machinery of government, such as systems of voting, 
may be constantly illustrated by the practice of the communities in 
which the children live ( 34). 

In Resolutions 28 and 29 the methods of study approved by the 
Conference are distinctly set forth. In the grammar schools the 
instruction ought to be simple and practical, using books ana familiar 
institutions only as illustratioEufahd collateral material ; the study of 


civil government and that of history ought constantly to work into 
each other and to support each other. In the high schools civil 
government ma}* be taught more elaborately ; and here is an oppor- 
tunity of which also some use may be made in the grammar schools : 
that of sending children to study their own local and stale government 
in operation. A teacher of experience, a member of the Conference, 
has for years been in the habit of taking his high school class in 
civil government to the local courts, to the city councils in session, 
and to the capital of the state, fifty-six miles away, to see the legis- 
lature in session (34). Other helpful methods are debates, mock 
town meetings, mock legislatures, reports of proceedings of legislatures 
and of Congress. At this stage the study lends itself to the topical 
method (33), and pupils may be encouraged to prepare papers on 
the local institutions about them. 

The subject of government is so difficult and requires so much 
practical illustration that the Conference would not recommend for 
schools an elaborate study of foreign systems. They believe, how- 
ever, that constant reference to parallels or divergences in foreign 
politics will be interesting and helpful (Resolution 29). They com- 
mend, especially, reference to the German and Swiss governments, 
as suggesting different methods pursued by nations governing them- 
selves under systems similar to ours ; study of the English govern- 
ment, as presenting the contrast between the parliamentary and the 
committee systems, and study of the French government as a type 
of highly centralized systems, in which local government is entirely 

19. Political Economy. 

The subject of political economy appears to be taught in only about 
one-twentieth of the high schools, and, in most cases, even there is 
confined to routine study and recitation from a text-book. Here, as 
in civil government, we believe that the essential principles are not 
above the reach of high school pupils ; but that an attempt to master 
the whole subject will result in the understanding of only a small 
part. Few schools have teachers sufflcientl}' trained to discuss and 
illustrate the general subject ; nor are there proper text-books for 
high school use. It is believed that the subject is not attempted in 
schools of other countries corresponding in grade to our high school. 

Upon no question which the Conference has considered is there 
greater difference of opinion among the persons consulted. Some 
eminent superintendents and principals would introduce or continue 
political economy in the last year of the high school course, or at 
least, in the last half-year. " Daily lessons for about twelve weeka 


would be ample," says one. On the other hand several teachers 
assert that political economy " has no place in secondary schools." 
" It is not proved that the subject can be advantageously taught in 
secondary schools, nor is the contrary proved." In this difference of 
opinion it has seemed to the Conference wise, to recommend that there 
be no formal instruction in political economy, but that the general 
principles be taught u in connection particular!}' with United States 
history, civil government, and commercial geographj* " (Resolutions 
9, 30). The subject would, therefore, appear in its most elementary 
form in the third year of the grammar school, and would be revived 
in the last two years of the high school. In both places the subject 
should not be introduced as a distinct and separate science ; but as 
illustrating government and political questions. In connection with 
Resolution 30 the Conference adopted the following memorandum : 

" It is suggested, for example, that when the tariff history of the 
United States is being studied, the laws of value, the conditions of 
production, and the principles of exchange, especially as relating to 
international trade, be explained ; that in connection with the study 
of the development of means of transpoitation, such topics as the 
concentration of population and of industry, the organic character of 
society, the corporate organization of industry, the capitalistic mode 
of production, the process of distribution, monopolies,' labor organ- 
izations, etc., be discussed ; that in connection with a study of Jack- 
son's administration, the subjects of crises, banks and their functions, 
the functions of money, the laws of its circulation, bimetallism, paper 
mone}', and kindred topics be presented ; that in connection with the 
study of our great wars, certain topics in finance be introduced, as for 
example, the principles of war finances, the history of our debt, 
the process of debt conversion, and the methods of paying public 
debts ; that in connection with the study of civil government, such 
topics as the assessment and collection of taxes, the principles of 
taxation, the kinds of taxes, the functions of government, the forma- 
tion and vote of the budget, the expenses of government, etc., be 

" In making these recommendations the Conference does not intend 
to suggest that less time than is customary be given to political 
economy, or that less emphasis be given to its importance as a study 
in the high schools ; but rather that emphasis be laid on vital topics, 
and that less time be devoted to controverted subjects and unsettled 

It is desirable to avoid the impression that political economy is an 
abstruse science of which no part can be understood without the 
mastery of the system ; teachers ought to set forth the principles of 
finance, commerce, and business, as a part of the everyday life of the 
community. The methods of teaching the economic principles thus 
indicated must be left to the discretion of the teacher. It is a subject 


in which text-book work is particularly inefficient, and no teacher 
ought to undertake the work who has not had some training in 
economic reasoning. The only methods which can possibly be suc- 
cessful are those which call upon the class for independent thought 
and suggestion. 

20. Present Requirements. 

The usual requirement in history, where the subject appears at all 
in the conditions of entrance to college, is an elementary knowledge 
of the history of one country, or at most of two countries. The usual 
subjects are Greek and Roman history, which are supposed to be 
taken up with classical study, or American history ; in a few cases 
English history is also, or may be, a subject for examination. These 
requirements differ in amount and in application, and it would 
undoubtedly be a reform of much value if they could be made simpler 
and more uniform. The present subjects are very unsatisfactory, not 
because they are uninteresting in themselves, but because in many 
schools the}' are studied with a view only to the college examina- 
tions, and without reference to any preparation for life. In one of 
the schools in which preparation in history is best and most system- 
atic for other pupils, boys and girls who are going to college are 
habitually deprived of that instruction, and are systematically 
crammed during a few weeks preceeding examinations. It is com- 
plained that " at present, examinations compel the teacher to accept 
bad methods for college preparation." We have not felt called 
upon to make any recommendations on the general subject of 
entrance to college ; but we desire to enter a protest against the 
present^ lax and inefficient system of historical examinations, and 
to ~urge a change by which schools which use proper methods 
shall have some advantage. 

21. Suggestions of Improvement. 

The dissatisfaction with the present system is shown by many pro- 
tests from teachers. ''The requirements for college ought to be so 
framed," says a high school teacher, "that the methods of teaching 
best adapted to meet them will also be best for all pupils." Exami- 
nations " should be such as test the -powers of the pupil and the 
methods of the teacher : analysis of subjects should be demanded ; 
. . . statements from analysis required. The pupil should be asked 
to state what books he has used in his course of study, and what 


service each book has done him ; what methods are employed in 
h'is school ; what work he has done in libraries. ... In short, the 
mental training, alertness, and intelligence of the pupil should be 
tested rather than memory onty." 

A very ingenious suggestion, which deserves the attention of college 
authorities, is that the colleges accept any combination of two historical 
studies, as Greek and American, FrenclT and English, as a 
proper preparation for college, allowing additional historical subjects 
as advanced requirements. This method if adopted would go a long 
way to increase the number of historical subjects taught, and would 
facilitate the adoption of the reforms suggested by this report 
(13, 15). 

Between the system of examinations and that of certificates the 
Conference has no recommendation to make, believing it to be a 
general subject which lies outside the present discussion. Where 
certificated are accepted, it is the duty of the colleges to take them 
only from schools w : hich have suitable libraries and pursue intelligent 
methods. Where a college accepts no tests but its own, a proper 
written examination seems as fair a system as can be devised ; but 
examinations may be so framed as to throw more weight upon 
general knowledge, and less on memory. 

In Resolution 32 we have decidedly expressed the opinion that less 
attention be paid to detail and more to a power of comparison and 
judgment. Schools which adopt an improved general system of 
teaching history will give to their pupils a training in some respects 
of the same nature as that gained from science. Although it is 
impossible in history to simplify and vary the phenomena which are 
observed, it may nevertheless be made in part a laboratory subject. 
In some colleges the entrance requirements in physics call for an 
examination, but the pupils also submit note-books as evidence 
that they have pursued their previous work in a systematic and scien- 
tific fashion. We believe that a similar S}'stem may be applied with 
good effect to historical examinations. Besides the regular written 
tests, papers prepared in the schools may be submitted as a part of 
the evidence of preparation (Resolution 33). The effect would be 
that schools which had properly used collateral reading and other 
material would be more successful in getting their boys into college 
than those which depended solely on text-books ; and that the colleges 
would be greatly improved by receiving into historical courses bo} r s 
and girls who had had preliminar} 7 training of a proper kind. The 
f time has come for the colleges to set their faces against perfunctory 
text-book methods in history, in the same manner as in classics and 
natural science. 


22. Time of Examinations. 

The question with reference to a division of examinations is 
answered in oar Resolution 34, which agrees with the majority of the 
opinions collected from historical teachers upon this subject. With a 
proper system of examinations the eighth or intensive year would do 
most to prepare for entrance to college, and the examination would 
therefore naturally come at the end of the course. Hence history 
should be a "final" subject and not a "preliminary." 

23. Present Methods. 

The last question submitted to the Conference is: "Can any 
description be given of the best method of teaching throughout the 
school course ?" In our judgment the selection and arrangement of 
studies in the schools, imperfect as they now are, need reform less 
than the methods of teaching. In the grammar schools very few 
teachers know any other system than simple recitation by rote from 
text-books ; and this is particularly the case in large city schools. 
The text-books are frequently poor and antiquated, and often have 
made so little impression upon the pupils' minds that their veiy 
names are forgotten. Outside reading and topical work does not 
appear in more than one fifth of the grammar schools, and is imper- 
fect even in these. Not much better is the condition of the high 
schools and academies ; in one hundred and thirty-five cases exam- 
ined, all had recitations ; sixty-nine used some kind of outside 
reference books ; twenty-six used oral topics ; forty-seven used written 
topics ; in fifty-five there were written lessons ; in eighty-two appears 
some kind of geographical instruction ; but only in fifty-eight any 
form of map drawing. The apparatus for outside- reading is usually 
small, although some high schools have large reference libraries. 
The present methods throw entirely too much stress on a few brief 
text-books; and comparatively few teachers have the spirit or the 
apparatus to carry their classes outside those narrow limits. Hence 
at least one experienced member of the Conference was at first 
inclined to think that possibly history should be omitted alto- 
gether from school programs, because, he said, teaching by rote 
from text-books made the subject disagreeable ; and because it 
led to indefinite ideas, which were in many cases worse than 
none. The first necessity, he thought, was an improvement in the 


24. Improved Methods. 

Nevertheless the Conference had before it detailed accounts of 
at least three widely separated }'et highly successful schools, in which 
history is taught in a common-sense and efficient manner ; and they 
were greatly encouraged by the interest shown by pupils in those 
schools. The first is an academy in a State capital, in which history 
begins for very small children, with stories of heroic characters ; 
then United States history and Cox's Mythology are taken up side by 
side ; in the third year English history is begun ; then American 
history, including the history of French and Spanish America as 
collateral with that of the English settlements. In the later ye&rs 
the pupils use the large and well appointed State Library. The 
master makes it his object to present history to them as a basis of 
enjoyment of art and literature ; thus, he teaches American litera- 
ture in connection with colonial history. There are constant 
references and comparisons from one field of histoiy to another. 
: Throughout the course he has in mind an ethical purpose to 
suggest the causes of personal and national greatness and weak- 
ness ; and his boys always elect histoiy after they get into college 

The second of these schools is a high school in a prosperous New 
England town ; here note-books are used in the classes, and there are 
special topics for investigation, supplementary talks by the instructor 
and by members of the class, assignments and reports of collateral 
reading in history and literature, and debates on points upon which 
opinions or authorities differ. \ The third school, an endowed acad- 
emy of a high grade, presents a systematic four-years program, 
covering successively Greek, Roman, English, and American history, 
with extensive parallel reading and much written work throughout. 

These accounts, and those of similar schools, seem to show that 
good teaching of history is obtainable under present conditions, and 
that it is safe to recommend extended and systematic teaching of 
history with the expectation that some schools can at once adopt it 
in its entire t}-, and that it may gradually work its way into the 
system of American education. 

25. Training of Teachers. 

" Above all, the teacher must keep up with the times in books, 
methods, lines of thought, and interest . . . she must realize that 
the world is always passing on, and that, like Alice in Wonderland, 
she must run as fast as she can to keep where she is. ... She must 


keep herself in connection with the great teachers of her time." 
That this ideal is not reached is shown b} 7 the lack of preparation on 
the part of most teachers of history. 

In Germany such teachers are almost invariably s^gcjLalLsts. Such 
subdivision is not uncommon in our large city high schools and 
academics ; but at present the work is very frequently divided up 
among teachers of other subjects, none of whom has an}' real interest 
in histor}\ The opportunities of getting good historical training 
both by men and women are now such that, in the judgment of the 
Conference, all high schools and academies able to pay good salaries 
ought to insist that the teacher of history should have " a knowledge 
of illuminating methods of teaching history." Even under unfavora- 
ble conditions^ we belieYe that too high a standard is not set up by 
Resolution 19 : " That in all schools it is desirable that history 
should be taught by teachers who have not only a fondness for 
historical study, but who also have paid special attention to effective 
methods of imparting instruction." In other words it would be as 
sensible for schools to employ a deaf and dumb person to teach read- 
ing, or to ask a Cherokee to teach Latin, as to depend for the 
teaching of history on persons who have not had special training in 
history. The supply of suitable candidates is now, or soon will be, 
such that no School Board need put up with incompetent teachers 
of history. 

What is to be done with the teachers already in service who cannot 
take even a year of special study ? Some system of special teachers' 
courses must be devised, with practical work going on during the 
school year. When it is established there will doubtless still be 
some bad teaching, but it will be without excuse. In the smaller 
high schools the problem is more difficult, because the teachers are 
fewer and must divide their time among several subjects ; in such 
cases the first step is to employ teachers with a good all-round train- 
ing, with some preparation on each subject the}' undertake, in 
preference to those who have a smattering of many subjects. In 
the grammar schools the subjects are simpler, the collateral reading 
and illustrations easy to apply, and the necessary training is corres- 
pondingly less. Perhaps the introduction of the " departmental i 
method" would improve the status of history in schools of that grade. ' 
Here, also, fair dealing requires that the teachers now in service have 
some opportunity to improve themselves. Is it not the duty of the 
universities in or near large cities to cooperate with the schools in 
establishing training courses? 


26. Lectures. 

What shall be the teacher's method of imparting his superior 
knowledge? Shall it be by lectures? It is the general opinion of 
experienced teachers that history should begin with simple stories 
told to the child ; a little later the}' may read in books like Haw- 
thorne's Wonder Book, or Bulfinch's Age of Fable, or from the 
collections of stories on American and English history. It is only 
in the later stages of the course, if at all, that formal lectures are 
applicable to school instruction. 

One form of lecture is, however, both admissible and desirable ; it 
is well in a brief talk to present the substance of the next or of ap- 
proaching lessons, so as to suggest to the scholar the relations of the 
facts he is about to study. "In my presentation of a subject," 
writes a teacher, "I alwa} r s work from circumference to center. I 
sketch, first, the barest outlines of the whole, so that the pupils may 
see the bearing and feel the relative importance of the subject in 
hand. For instance, if we are studying the Hannibalic Wars, the 
pupils know that this is one of the seven or eight great wars by 
which Rome conquered the world, that the period of conquest is one 
of the four periods of the Roman republic, and that the republic is 
one of the three forms of development which the government of 
Rome assumed." 

Set lectures on the lesson, while very suitable for colleges, are 
not so well adapted to schools. To be useful they require elaborate 
note-taking, a severe strain if well done, and if ill done produc- 
tive of mental dissipation. We incline to recommend only infor- 
mal talks which will explain the cause and effect of events, and 
which may add interesting illustrations and comparisons to the 
lesson of the da}', as it appears in the text-book. In the advanced 
grades, an interesting and profitable exercise is to call upon pupils to 
prepare lectures under the direction of the teacher ; on these, notes 
should be taken by the other pupils. If the subject is then reviewed 
at another exercise b}' the teacher, both the pupil, lecturer, and 
hearers will be quickened. 

27. Text-Books. 

In Resolution 20 we recommend : " That after the first two years 
a suitable text- book or text-books should be used, but only as a basis 
of fact and arrangement, to be supplemented by other methods." 
Since the text- book is, and ought to be, the center of the study of 
history in schools, a good text- book is essential. This simple and 


self-evident principle is not carefully observed. A rough analysis of 
the books used in one hundred and forty-nine high schools seems to 
show that seventy-six have poor books. The criteria of a good text- 
book are : first, that it should be written b^an_expert in the subject, 
who knows what to save and what to throw away ; second, that it 
should be arranged in a convenient form, with running headings, 
tables of contents, indexes, and other aids ; third, that it should deal 
with the essentials of history, avoiding accounts of military events, or 
the mere outline of political discussions; fourth, that it should be 
embellished with numerous and correct maps to which repeated refer- 
ence should be made in the text ; fifth, that it should be interesting to 
the average reader, and lightened b}' suitable illustrations and quota- 
tions from contemporary authorities. A few text-books possess most 
of these characteristics, but the present system of selecting or of 
placing text-books in the schools does not seem to give suitable pre- 
ference to the better books. In the judgment of the Conference a 
text-book ought to be something more than the mere development of 
a " story," it ought to include something on the social ana economic 
side, as well as on the political ; and it ought to refer to, and facilitate, 
outside reading and the preparation of topics. 

We recommend further that a practice be established in the schools 
of using two, three, or four parallel text-books at a time. (Resolu- 
tion 21). By preparing in different books, or, by using more than 
one book on a lesson, pupils will acquire the habit of comparison, and 
the no less important habit of doubting whether any one book covers 
the ground. The practical difficulties are few ; where school boards 
buy text-books four sets of ten books each cost no more than one set 
of forty books ; where pupils buy their own books classes may be 
divided into three or four groups, the members of each group provid- 
ing themselves with the same book. 

28. Recitations. 

What is learned in the text-books ought in most cases to be brought 
home to the mind in recitations, which should be less a test of faith- 
fulness than a supplement to the reading^ It is better to omit history 
altogether than to teach it in the^jold-fashipned way, by setting pupils 
painfully to reproduce the words of a text-book, without comment or 
suggestion on the teacher's part. The first duty of the teacher is to 
emphasize the essential points in the book, to show, if possible, what 
is the main thing worth remembering in the lesson of the day. It is 
also a duty to point out things which the writer of the text-book has 
inserted, but which, in the teacher's judgment, may safely be 


neglected. Few teachers have the courage to do what a member of 
the Conference recently saw done in class : to tell the children to 
"pass over Ap'pius Claudius and the sacred chickens because they 
were of little account." The teacher may have underestimated the 
historical value of legend ; but she sent home to the minds of her 
pupils the wholsomee thought that^ot all is essential that appears 
in printy 

Again, the questions in a recitation ought not to demand from the 
pupils a bald repetition of the phrases or ideas of the book, but 
ought to call for comparison and comment. The questions ought 
constantly to go forward and backward, to bring up points of com- 
parison from previous lessons, and to bring in illustrations from other 
parallel subjects. A course in American history may be made doubly 
interesting by frequent cross references to previously studied Greek 
and Roman history ; and a course in English history is enriched by 
illustrations from English literature. Here is the place where the 
teacher's superior knowledge and training tells ; here is the place also 
for stirring up the minds of the pupils. 

How far should pupils be expected to memorize? " A few things 
should be learned by heart and, when forgotten, learned again, to serve 
as a firm ground work upon which to group one's knowledge : without 
knowing the^succession of dynasties, or of sovereigns, or of presi- 
dents, or the dates of the great constitutional eventsythe pupil's stock 
of information will have no more form than a jelly-fish." But those 
few necessary facts ought to be clearly defined as only a framework 
to assist the memory . The pupil's stock of material is to be kept in 
mind not by calling for it in glib recitations devoid of thought, but 
bv constantly framing questions which will require for an answer a 
knowledge of the necessary facts ; thus, a comparison between Henry 
VIII and Charles I requires a pupil to remember the essential dates 
and events of both reigns, and their relations of cause and effect. 

29. Further Suggestions as to Recitations. 

An excellent suggestion is that of " op^n__text^book recitations," 
in which with their books before them, pupils are asked questions on 
cause and effect, on relations with previous lessons, etc. ; answers 
may, if necessary, be written out and corrected in class. Such an 
exercise trains pupils to take in the thought of a printed page, and 
to grasp the essential points. 

Such a system tends to encourage the habit of applying what one 
knows to a new problem. Still more helpful in the same direction 
are the off-hand discussions and impromptu debates which spring up 


in an eager class and which should be encouraged by every good 

In man} T schools there are systems of review, too often perfunctory 
repetitions of what was dull when first recited. Some system is per- 
haps necessary to recall the attention to the relations of the parts of 
the subject. Two helpful substitutes for the ordinary review may 
be mentioned. The first is that of "fluent recitations." "The 
pupil is given the entire subject, for instance the Homeric Age, the 
Conquest of Italy by Rome, the Early Norman Kings, the New 
England Colonies. To recite these ' fluents' are the special glory of 
the class ; the brilliant recitation that holds the interest of all the 
pupils, although the subject is familiar, is one that is especially prized. 
After the ' fluent' is finished it is criticised as to matter and manner ; 
the English, the attitude, and intonation of the reciter all coming 
under fire, as well as the historical matter." 

The second device is thus described. " But a very important part of 
the work yet remains the fixing of the whole indeliblj' on the mind. 
This is attempted by what .... are called ' cards' i. e. a raking fire 
of short, sharp questions every morning to which a prompt direct 
answer is required, or the dread ' next,' ' next,' ' next ' is heard. To 
fail in cards is thought a great disgrace, for they are taken up only 
when the subject has been most carefully explained, and failure in 
them is an evidence of unfaithfulness on the part of the pupil." .... 
These systems are admirable if applied so as to teach pupils to 
combine what they know, and to bring their knowledge to bear on 
unforeseen problems. 

Another form of recitation is the written exercise repeated at fre- 
quent intervals : a single, properly framed question given at the begin- 
ning or end of each recitation, with ten minutes to answer it in 
writing, 'will train pupils in the habit of combining and applying 
their own information. For such an exercise questions involving 
comparison are well adapted. A good question -would be, to make 
up a list of the sovereigns of England who were born out of the 
realm ; or, after a lesson on the English in India, might come the 
question whether the occupation of India had been a good thing for 
the English nation. 

The blackboard is used in some schools ; the recitation begins 
with an analysis of the subject for the day, prepared by the teacher, 
and written out beforehand, or written by a pupil in the presence of 
the class. This, of course, emphasizes the teacher's own subdivision 
of the subject, as contrasted with that of the text-book, and breaks 
up the feeling that facts in order to be accurate can be stated in only 
one order. A few text-books have been prepared with topical 


analyses of this kind, and in a good school pupils are sometimes 
called upon themselves to prepare a suitable analysis for the criticism 
of the teacher and of the class ( 32). 

To sum up their recommendations on this point, the Conference 
is of the opinion that text-books must continue to be used, but that 
they should be carefully selected, and that the pupil should have the 
constant use of at least two different books ; that the recitations upon 
them should not consist of an historical catechism, but should be 
made up of suggestive questions requiring a comparison and com- 
bination of different parts of the pupil's material ; and that the 
proper relations and proportions of that material may be promoted 
by some system of rapid recitation, with criticism by teacher and 


30. Reading. 

Recitations alone, however, cannot possibly make up proper teach- 
ing of history. It is absolutely necessary, from the earliest to the 
last grades, that there should be parallel reading of some kind. In 
Resolution 19 we recommend: "That in the first two years oral 
instruction in biography and mythology should be supplemented by 
the reading of simple biographies and mythological stories." The 
numerous historical readers and selections of stories and poems now 
offer a large amount of suitable introductory matter ; when regular 
text-book work begins, this system of rjarallel reading should be con- 
tinued. "The sooner we can get a boy into touch with something 
else than a hand book, the better." This principle is expressed in 
Resolution 21. " That pupils should be required to read or learn one 
other account besides that of the text-book, on each lesson." Such 
parallel reading must necessarily take two forms : in the first place, 
the use of distinct historical literature bearing immediately on the 
subject in hand ; and, secondly, the use of miscellaneous literature, 
poems, historical novels, and biographies. 

The system of more elaborate reading is well described as follows : 
"The class work should be as elastic as possible, that it may adapt 
itself to the different kinds of minds. I must surely give my brightest 
pupils food enough, for a teacher's greatest fault is starving her 
children, yet I must not crowd the weaker ones. . . . Certain books 
bearing upon the subject in hand are designated to the pupils ; every 
one is required to read something outside her daily work, and the 
better scholars are expected to read more. A special report of the 
work done is handed in Monday morning, with the private note-books 
containing a topical analysis of what has been read and original 
remarks upon it. The reports and note-books are examined and 
commented upon by the teacher." 


31. Material for Reading. 

Such a system, of course, requires a considerable school library. 
Out of one hundred and fifty-one high schools whose methods have 
been examined, only about fifty appear to have a good library of 
ordinary reference books, and only about forty a general librar}' of 
comparative historical literature. Yet to provide a collection of 
books suitable for school work is not. an expensive process : one 
hundred dollars, or fifty dollars, or even twenty dollars properly 
applied, will furnish a reserve of historical literature for the use of 
the pupil. 

In addition, of course, every special subject ought to have a little 
galaxy of standard books grouped about it. Resolution 27 reads : 
" That a collection of reference books, as large as the means of the 
school allow, should be provided for every school, suitable for use in 
connection with all the historical work done in that school." Where- 
ever public libraries exist, it is almost always possible to arrange for 
their use by the pupils of the public schools ; and in a few favored 
places like Albany, there are special reference libraries of great value 
for historical work. Something may often be accomplished by making 
out a list of desirable books and asking each pupil either to buy one 
or to contribute to the purchase of one : in the course of a few years 
a considerable library may thus be brought together. Every school 
board which is willing to buy chemical and plrysical apparatus, 
may be brought to such a state of grace that it will buy reference 

The main necessity is that teachers should have it firmly fixed in 
their minds that it is as impossible to teach history without reference 
books, as it is to teach chemistry without glass and rubber tubing. 
This s}*stem may also be so arranged as to create in the minds of 
pupils a desire to possess and use books, which will do much to break 
the monotony of their lives and to cultivate the habit of judicious 
expenditure. The time has been when in the houses of many intelli- 
gent families, educated in the common-schools, and reading news- 
papers regularly, almost the only books were the Bible and a Patent 
Office Report. It is the duty of the schools to make the return of 
such conditions 'impossible. Where expensive collections of docu- 
ments can not be had, the sets of leaflets, which are now issued in a 
variety of forms and on a variety of subjects, may be used, at a smaller 

Another sort of illustrative reading may take the form of special 
exercises in literature, such as the study of poems on American colo- 
nial life in connection with American history ; or of Chaucer with 


English history. We feel hesitation with reference to historica\ 
novels : the natural tendency is to skip the history in them or to 
receive a false historical impression if the history is accepted. 
Nevertheless, there are standard historical novels which will always 
be read, and which will always leave an approximately correct 
picture of the times which they describe. It goes without saying, 
that pupils should be encouraged to read general historical literature 
at home, outside of any immediate connection with their studies. 
Only about one-half of the students who enter one of our great 
colleges have read at least one work of such historians as Prescott, 
Macaulay, Irving, Green, or Bancroft. 

32. Written Work. 

The written exercises required in connection with history vary all 
the way from a page of a note-book to an elaborate study from the 
sources. In two ways such exercises tend to the education of pupils : 
! they give excellent practice in the collection and selection of mate- 
rial, and they afford an invaluable training in judgment and in 
accuracy of statement. Besides the written recitations already de- 
scribed above (28), some teachers require notes and abstracts of 
analyses to be made up from books. " Collateral readings in history 
are assigned and reported on. Another exercise is the so-called 
written analysis, in which having gone over the ground of the lesson 
a pupil is sent to the board and w.ites an analysis of the lesson ; his 
selection of topics is then criticized by the class, and the form of 
expression is altered until put into the . . . most striking phrase- 
ology. . . . This exercise in analysis I find of the utmost value ; it 
trains the children in discrimination between the essential and unes- 
sential, in putting facts in the right perspective ; it teaches them to 
handle books ... its tabular arrangement shows at a glance the 
bearing of each part upon the whole. . . . The page of topics is also 
an essential help to the memory, hence is, psychologically, a valuable 
device for younger pupils." Another system is to call for "special 
reports," brief and summarized statements upon a subject specially 
assigned. Such work in most schools would, of course, be based on 
secondary authorities ; but the arrangement and the results should be 
the pupil's own. The subject of such a written report should be suffi- 
ciently minute, so that the pupil may learn all that is worth knowing 
in the authorities at hand ( 33). One form of this written work may 
be the requirement to prepare a bibliography of all the references avail- 
able on an assigned subject. This is particularly applicable to biog- 
raphies of public men ; and the results thus obtained may be left on 


file and may be referred to for later reports. The method tends to train 
pupils to use bibliographical aids, the short-cuts to historical material. 

The second general system of written work in connection with 
history is set forth in Resolution 23 : " That the teaching of history 
should be intimately connected with the teaching of English . . . 
by writing English compositions on subjects drawn from the historical 
lessons." In few schools has this connection between the two 
kindred branches been established. The necessary work of reading 
parallel references may thus be made to serve a double turn, and the 
amount of 'reading may be correspondingly increased. Your Con- 
ference need not dwell upon the importance of such a connection, 
as developing both the power of expression, and the power of 
dealing with historical material. 

33. The Topical Method. 

The third general system of written work is the preparation of 
topics; Resolution 22 reads: "That the method of study by topics 
be strongly recommended, as tending to stimulate pupils and to en- 
courage independence of judgment." Resolution 26 adds : " That in 
all practicable ways, an effort should be made to teach the pupils in 
the later years to discriminate between authorities, and especially 
between original sources and secondary works." It is not expected 
that pupils in grammar or high schools are to be historical writers, or 
that they are to suppose that they are carrying out historical investi- 
gation to its widest extent ; but we confidently and urgently recom- 
mend the use of this historical method because of its peculiar 
educational value. It is the system in use in German schools of a 
corresponding grade, and accounts in part for the development of 
historical investigation in that country. 

One year of the eight-year course has been set apart for what has 
been called il the intensive study of history," i. e., the more minute 
and careful stud} 7 of some limited period, with as much use of the 
sources as is practicable. ( 15.) The topical system can, of 
course, be applied in_that year, but it is 'applicable throughout the 
course, especially in the latter half. The first point to notice is, that 
the topical method requires the pupils to do part of the work, and, in 
well advanced courses, it may very sensibly relieve the teacher from 
the necessity of minute investigation of the whole ground for himself. 
In the next place, the topical method may be so employed as to 
introduce the pupil to the sources, which are the life of history. 

Two sorts of work are combined under the single title of the 
topical method. In the first place it ma}' be used as a s} T stem of 


- division of labor, the topics taken together covering substantially the 
>b whole ground of the course ; and recitations may then be held upon 
the topics, taking advantage of the special preparation of one 
student on each topic. " In selecting topics, care should be taken 
to make them cover only one simple subject. Questions should not 
be assigned about which no definite information is to be had. . . . 
Biography lends itself easily to this method ; an}' number of subjects 
of about equal difficulty may be found, and it is easy to secure a 
lucid, well arranged report. Where the topics are numerous, the 
teacher owes it to his pupils to give them a good outfit of specific 
directions and specific references ; for an occasional theme it is an 
excellent plan to turn a pupil loose into a library ; but where he is 
expected to learn something valuable about his topic in a short time, 
he must not be discouraged by the mass of books ; he must have his 
clue. . . . The return of the work in the precise outward form 
required should be insisted upon, because it is of much importance to 
be able to put information into a shape useful to another person, and 
the labor of handling the papers is thus greatly reduced, There is 
plenty of room for personality in the choice of books and the selec- 
tion and arrangement of facts. Great care must be taken to prevent 
the pupil from simply reproducing what he finds in one or several 
books. From the very outset the pupil should be taught always to 
append a brief bibliographical note, setting forth the source of his 
information and giving exact references to volume and page. Bright 
scholars may criticize each other's work ; and the selection of the 
best papers to be read in class will be a reward." The method thus 
described in general terms is widely applicable to schools of almost 
every grade in which history can be taught at all. Perhaps the 
principal objection is the necessary correction of the written work ; 
here, as in other written exercises, a great deal may be done by 
exchanging papers among the pupils and calling for criticism of pupil 
upon pupil ; or by taking up topical exercises and criticising them in 
class with the help of the class. 

The second purpose of the topical method is the study of 
sources. Says a member of the Conference: '"The original sources 
are often more delightful reading than the most striking descriptions 
of Gibbon, or Taine, or Macaulay, and in many cases quite as ready 
at hand. The real short-cut which leaves hundreds of volumes of 
formal history at one side, if we are really intent upon getting the 
greatest good from our work, lies through the study of the sources. 
Unconsciously moulded as these are by the spirit of the time in which 
they were written, every line gives by innuendo an insight into the 
period which the author certainly never intended, and which volumes 


of analysis can never reproduce. The mere information, too, comes 
in a form which we cannot forget if we try." No part of historical 
education does so much to train the pupil as the search for material, 
the weighing of evidence, and the combining of the results thus 
obtained in a statement put into a form useful to other persons. 
Collections of suitable material are already numerous, and are rapidly 
increasing. To make such a system successful it is necessary that 
no two members of a given class shall have the same topic ; this 
precaution gives to the pupil the agreeable sense of a separate and 
independent piece of investigation. Of course the topics must be 
veiy limited in scope ; the writing of elaborate theses and mono- 
graphs in the schools is not to be commended ; all the good results 
can be had by a succession of brief pieces. The material to be 
used may comprise the local records, which, in the towns possess- 
ing them, have seldom been carefully used. Occasionally families 
have a little store of manuscripts ; or such collections are to be 
found in local libraries. The main dependence, however, must 
always be on printed records such as the Colonial Records of the 
older States of the Union ; the calendars of British State papers ; the 
State and national statutes ; the United States printed collections of 
documents ; the correspondence and other writings of statesmen ; 
elaborate biographies and reminiscences, town and count}' histories ; 
periodicals and old newspapers. The work is within the reach of 
good teachers, without very elaborate or expensive apparatus. 

34. Illustrative Methods. 

All methods of teaching history may be made more effective by 
having the proper surroundings, and by making use of illustrations 
drawn from' the experience of the community. An attractive class- 
room is an incentive to historical study. In many schools something 
may be done b}' encouraging the pupils to bring in historical pic- 
tures ; these may be of every degree of value from rough wood-cuts 
taken out of daily papers to portraits and engravings of historical 
scenes, and photographs of famous places or buildings. In one 
school the teacher has a large collection of pictures cut from illus- 
trated newspapers and pasted on cards. In choosing text-books care 
ought always to be taken to see that its illustrations, if there are 
any, represent something real ; pupils are sometimes quick to see 
historical inconsistencies. A picture in a well known historical text- 
book purports to represent Braddock's headquarters ; but in the 
foreground is a flag-staff with the stars and stripes displayed. The 
use of the magic lantern is becoming more and more common as a 


means of instruction, ana where schools have not the opportunity to 
make a collection of slides for themselves, they may often call in 
lecturers for occasional illustrated talks, or may avail themselves of 
University Extension or other courses of lectures. 

Next in importance come accounts of historical places from those 
who have visited them. An}' class may be interested in an account 
of the city of Washington and of the Houses of Congress in session, 
especially if illustrated by graphic aids. In many places, however, 
the historic scenes are at hand, and all that is necessary is to point 
them out to the class, although not every city is so fortunate as that 
which possesses the Washington elm, the Longfellow house, and the 
James Russell Lowell mansion. The study of history may also be 
made a means for those rambling excursions which should do much 
for the health of the children. Where historical places are lacking 
there are often interesting collections ; the larger cities have art 
museums, which are invaluable for the light they throw upon ancient 
histoiy ; and many cities have libraries with rare and interesting 
books. Everywhere there is the opportunity of illustrating history 
and particularly civil government, by the local government of the 
place (18). 

Another means of illustration is to set debates on subjects which 
occur in the lessons. School debating societies" are very common, 
and might be made still more instructive, if pains were taken always 
to set questions which permitted the debaters to use their own judg- 
ment and knowledge. An excellent device in such debates is to 
require each side to submit preliminary written briefs, with arguments 
arranged in logical form and provided with specific reference to 
authorities. Of a similar value are mock legislatures, parliaments, 
conventions, and diplomatic congresses, an interesting form of 
object lessons. (18.) 

Finally, history ought constantly to be illustrated by reference to 
the lives of great men. This is the opportimitj- for ethical training. 
Boys who cannot understand the development of the Athenian con- 
stitution, and who painfully learn and easily forget the military 
details of the Greek wars, may be animated with interest over 
Themistocles, or Cicero, or Charlemagne, or Luther, or John Wilkes, 
or John C. Calhoun, or Abraham Lincoln. In Germany, the pupil 
"goes over universal history three times in as many different ways. 
The first time, all history is encompassed by what may be called the 
biographical method." Biography is not all of history, because even 
the incidents of great lives are important chiefly in their relations to 
each other ; but biography clings to the memory, and a later, more sys- 
tematic stud}* will show the connection with national development. 


35. Historical Geography. 

" Geography, the twin sister of history, has, as yet, had but a cold 
reception in the historical fami^ ; only about one half the schools 
make the stud}' what it should be, an essential and integral part of 
the study of ever}* period." Our recommendation on this subject is 
set forth in Resolution 25, " That the study of history should be con-"l 
stantly associated with the study of topography and political geog- / 
raphy, and should be supplemented by the study of historical and 
commercial geography, and the drawing of historical maps." 

This resolution suggests three directions in which the study of 
geography may be made a helpful adjunct to history. In the first 
place, from the beginning of geographical study, attention should be 
paid to the physical outline of each country, not only with reference to 
its productions, but to the movement of races, the progress of settle- 
ment, and the establishment of centres of population. For instan 
it should be shown how the commercial greatness of Chicago and of 
New York depend on a simple fact in American physical geography 
their position at the head and foot of a system of water communi- 
cation ; the indented coast of New England should suggest how V 
thrifty little sea-ports came to be established there ; the relation of the / 
Vosges Mountains to the Alps is a guide to the successive migra^J/ 
tions of nations across Europe. From the beginning, the teacher 
should attempt to ^connect physical geography with the present 
political condition of the world ; and, in like manner, the study of / 
political geography should constantly bring in the physical features. ^ 

The second geographical method consists in putting before pupils 
for constant use wall-maps a,nd^ historical atlases. So little is this 
necessity understood that in no other civilized country are good and 
cheap maps' so rare ; and our school atlases are notoriously inferior to*'" 
those of Frnnce and Germany. In the use of maps, good or bad, 
there is an opportunity for the use of judgment ; a mere reference to 
a place on a map on which the surface shows no physical relief does 
little to impress its position. For instance, the important geographical 
fact about the city of Rome is not that it lay in Latium, rather than 
in Etruria, but that it could control the trade of the Tiber valley, and, 
at the same time, was so far inland as to be free from attacks of 
pirates. The reason for its growth once learned, the site will never 
be forgotten. An excellent system in class is for a pupil to follow 
the recitation, pointing out on the wall-map the places as they are 
mentioned by the reciter. 

A third and very efficient method of geographical training is the use 
of outline maps. "We buy outlines," says a teacher, "and strive 


to set forth upon them as many subjects as lend themselves to such 
modes of representation. I should be at loss, without them, to make 
attractive the geography of Greece with its multitude of new names 
so hard to the junior mind, the migrations, the different eras of colon- 
ization, etc. But with maps it becomes very pleasant work. Maps 
| are also especially interesting in showing the development and decay 
>f the Roman empire, and the rise and growth of modern nations. . . . 
'In^very recitation in history every child has an open atlas upon his 
desk, and not only are all the places carefully looked up, but the 
effects of physical environments are constantly noted." By outline 
r maps is not here meant the exasperating system of skewering the 
f boundaries of countries upon an artificial geometrical scaffolding ; but 
' the use ofi(maps having printed upon them the simple outlines of the 
country, the pupil to insert important places in their proper relations/^ 
This system is not unreasonably expensive, and pupils should be 
taught to feel that maps thus made are not simp!}* exercises to be 
thrown away, but that by preserving them they may bring together a 
little special geographical atlas of their own. Mere copying from 
larger maps is an exercise without discipline, and is of no aid to the 
memory ; in order to get the advantage of the geographical study 
each child must make up his map from a variety of sources. Map 
making thus becomes a kind of topical work, but a sort in which most 
children find a peculiar delight and stimulus. 


In conclusion, your Conference begs to recapitulate a few of the 
points in the above report which we wish especially to emphasize. 
We believe that the subjects upon which we have reported ought to 
receive at least as much attention as they now receive in the best and 
most carefully taught schools, and considerably more than in the 
present average schools. A part of the time necessary for this change 
can be had by bringing the stud}' of English and of geography into 
closer relations with the study of history. We strongly urge that the 
historical course be continuous from 3'ear to year, and in this respect 
be placed upon the same footing as other substantial subjects. We 
urge a closer co-ordination of the work in civil government and 
political economy with that in history. We especially recommend 
such a choice of subjects as will give pupils in the grammar schools 
an opportunity to study tlie history of other countries, and to the 
high schools one year's study on the intensive method. 

"As to methods, we have to suggest only the use of the methods 
which, in good schools, are now accustoming pupils to think for them- 


selves, to put together their own materials, to state their results, to 
compare one series of events with another series and the history of 
one country with that of another. 

Finally, we urge that only teachers who have had adequate special 
training shall be employed to teach these important subjects. 

Respectfully submitted, 

CHARLES KENDALL ADAMS, President ofathe 
University of Wisconsin, Chairman. 

EDWARD G. BOURNE, Professor of History, 
Adelbert College. 

ABRAM BROWN, Principal of the Central High 
School, Columbus, Ohio. 

RAY GREENE RULING, Principal of the High 
School, New Bedford, Mass. 

JESSE MACY, Professor of Political Science, 
Iowa College. 

sor of European History, University of Penn- 

WILLIAM A. SCOTT, Assistant Professor of 
Political Economy, University of Wisconsin. 

HENRY P. WARREN, Head Master of The Albany 

WOODROW WILSON, Professor of Jurisprudence 
and Political Economy, Princeton College. 

ALBERT BUSHNELL HART, Assistant Professor 
of History, Harvard University, Secretary, 




Specific answers to the nine questions may be found by referring 
to the report and accompanying resolutions as follows : 

1. In the school course of study extending approximately from the 
age of six years to eighteen years a course including the periods 
of both elementary and secondary instruction at what age should 
the study which is the subject of the Conference be first introduced ? 

At about nine or ten } T ears : Resolutions 13, 14 ; Report, 6. 

2. After it is introduced, how many hours a week for how many 
years should be devoted to it? 

Not less than three exercises per week during eight years ; or, 
under special circumstances, during six 3'ears : Resolutions 14-17; 
Report, 7-9. 

3. How many hours a week for how many years should be devoted 
to it during the last four years of the complete course ; that is, 
during the ordinary high school period? 

Three hours per week during four years of the high school course ; 
or, in special circumstances, three years: Resolutions 14-16; 
Report, 8-10. 

4. What topics, or parts, of the subject may reasonably be 
covered during the whole course? 

This question is answered in the proposed curriculum : Resolu- 
tions 2-10, 14, 16 ; Report, 10, 16-19. 

5. What topics, or parts, of the subject may best be reserved for 
the last four years? 

The opinion of the Conference is shown by the curriculum proposed : 
Resolutions 13, 14, 16, 28-30 ; Report, 12-19. 

6. In what form and to what extent should the subject enter into 
college requirements for admission? Such questions as the suffi- 
ciency of translations at sight as a test of knowledge of a language, 
or the superiority of a laboratory examination in a scientific subject 
to a written examination on a text-book, are intended to be sug- 
gested under this head by the phrase "in what form?" 

Methods of college examinations are suggested in Resolutions 32, 
33; Report, 20, 21. 


7. Should the subject be treated differently for pupils who are 
going to college, for those who are going to a scientific school, and 
for those who, presumably, are going to neither? 

We are unanimously against making such a distinction : Resolu- 
tion 31 ; Report, 2, 11. 

8. At what age should this differentiation begin, if any be 
recommended ? 

There should be no differentiation : Resolution 31 ; Report, 2, 11. 

9. Can any description be given of the best method of teaching this 
subject throughout the school course? 

The subject is discussed in Resolutions 18-30 ; Report, 23-35. 
The essentials are : trained teachers ; good text-books ; suggestive 
recitations ; outside reading ; written work, especially in connection 
with English composition ; topical study ; suitable illustrative material ; 
arid historical geography intelligently taught. 

10. Can any description be given of the best mode of testing 
attainments in this subject at college admission examinations? 

A recommendation of examination questions requiring thought and 
the acceptance of satisfactory written work as a part of the evidence 
of preparation appears in Resolutions 32, 33 ; Report, 20, 21. 

11. For those cases in which colleges and universities permit a 
division of the admission examination into a preliminary and a final 
examination, separated by at least a year, can the best limit between 
the preliminary and the final examinations be approximately defined? 

The Conference suggests that history be reserved for the final 
examinations : Resolution 34 ; Report, 22. 




Dear Sir, The members of the Conference on geography (embrac- 
ing geology and meteorology) appointed by your committee, held 
sessions on December 28th, 20th and 30th, at the Cook County Normal 
School, as designated by you, and gave careful consideration to the 
questions submitted to them. They beg leave to submit the following 
report : 


It was found difficult to define strictly the scope of geography on 
account of its intimate relations with, and gradations into, geological, 
meteorological, zoological, botanical, historical, political, and other 
sciences. Geography is an important factor in all these, and they in 
turn enter as factors into a comprehensive study of it. It is impos- 
sible to draw any sharp divisional lines, and the Conference have 
found it practicable to indicate in a limited degree only, by sugges- 
tions, how far these several associated subjects should be brought 
into the study of geography, as such, and how far, on the other hand, 
the geographical element in each of these should be left to be taught 
in connection with them, as separate sciences^ While it did not seem 
to the Conference advisable to greatly modify the range of subjects 
usually embraced under the term geography, the}' recommend a more 
distinct recognition of its different phases and some modifications of 
treatment for the purpose of giving these greater emphasis and more 
advantageous relations to other work, as indicated below. 


General Elementary Geography. There are important reasons for 
devoting the work of the earlier and intermediate years to those 
features of geography which will be most serviceable to the majority 
of pupils without regard to any sharp classification, because these are 
the only years during which many pupils remain in school. The 
earlier courses should, therefore, treat broadly of the earth and its 
environment and inhabitants. The instruction should extend freely 
into fields which are recognized as belonging to separate sciences in 
later years of study. It should deal not only with the face of the 
earth but with elementary considerations in astronomy, meteorology, 
zoology, botany, history, commerce, governments, races, religions, 


etc., so far as these are connected with geography. Unless this 
admixture of subjects is included under the elementary courses 
of geography many scholars will not gain a knowledge of even the 
outlines of these important subjects. 

Applied Geography. But when this common groundwork is laid, 
there is a distinct advantage in a gradual differentiation of the sub- 
ject. Some of its phases may be best disconnected from the formal 
study of geography and taken up in connection with the subjects to 
which they are most intimately related. For example, the geograph- 
ical element in history is best understood, appreciated, and retained 
in memory when taken in connection with historical study. The 
distribution of plants and animals will only have its fullest meaning 
when studied in connection with the nature of the plants and animals 
themselves ; that is, as a phase of botany or zoology. 

Unfortunate^ our works in botany and zoology are very defective 
in this respect. The Conference would urge that this serious fault be 

In general, all forms of applied geography are most advantageously 
taken in connection with their applications, provided that a general 
knowledge of elementary geography has been previously acquired, as 
indicated above. 

Physical Geography and Physiography. On the other hand, the 
special subject of geography should take on a more advanced form 
and should relate more specifically to the features of the earth's sur- 
face, the agencies that produce and destroy them, the environing" 
conditions under which these act, and the physical influences by which 
man and all the creatures of the earth are so profoundly affected. 
This has usually been designated physical geography. There .is an 
advanced and modernized phase of it, however, which the majority of 
the committee prefer to designate pJusiograjrjhj, not because the name 
is important, but because it emphasizes a special and important phase 
of the subject and of its treatment. The scientific investigations of 
the last decade have made very important additions to physiographic 
knowledge and methods of study. These are indeed so radical as 
to be properly regaided, perhaps, as revolutionar}'. Unfortunately 
they are not yet incorporated in textbooks, in any large degree, nor 
are they, even in scientific treatises, collected into a form readily 
available for the use of the teacher. As yet they are widely scattered 
through various scientific publications. But this condition will doubt- 
less be improved at an early date. Meanwhile, it is thought best that 
physical geography should be taught, by the aid of the best elemen- 
t&ry textbooks now available, as the last geographic course previous 
to the high school, and that there should be introduced into the high- 


school course either physiography, geology, or meteorolog}* as the 
representative of the geographic line of studies, which may be broadly 
characterized as that which relates to the physical environment of 
man. Possibly more than one of these may be practicable in some 
high schools, when alternative or elective studies are offered. 

As this line of study develops into better form and expression, 
physical geography will probably come to signify a stage of differen- 
tiation and a method of treatment intermediate between that of 
common geography and that of physiography, and the latter will 
represent that more advanced treatment which belongs to the higher 
courses. But without regard to what may be the terminology of the 
future (which is not very important in itself), the majority of the 
Conference wish to impress upon the attention of teachers the fact 
that there has been developed within the past decade a new and most 
important phase of the subject, and to urge that they hasten to 
acquaint themselves with it and bring it into the work of the school- 
room and of the field. 

/ The ground to be covered by physiography, when introduced as a 
' high school study, may be indicated by the following topics : x j The 
wasting of the land surfaces, the transportation of the waste to the 
sea, and its deposition on the marginal sea bottoms ; a brief account 
of the more common minerals and rocks in their relation to wasting ; 
the changes of river action during the progress of land denudation ; 
the relations of 4akes, waterfalls, divides and their migration, flood- 
plains, deltas, etc., to the stage of river-development in which they 
are observed ; the development of shore lines and the variation 
of their features under the long continued action of the shore waves ; 
| the interruptions of the normal progress of denudation and shore 
'action by depression, elevation, or deformation; and by volcanic 
action or by climatic change, including briefly the effects of glacial 
action. The various kinds of land forms, as plains, plateaus, moun- 
tains, volcanoes, should be considered in accordance with the con- 
structional processes involved in their origin and with the system of 
development above outlined ; and their distribution over the earth 
should be briefly sketched. The better known land areas, and espe- 
cially our home country, should be described in accordance with the 
development of the various geographical elements of which they are 
constituted. No attempt should be made to describe the whole 
world in this way, because the subject is too large for high-school 
treatment ; but the conviction that all land areas are constituted of 
geographical elements in various stages of development should be 

1 The subject will be further developed under the head of method. 


enforced by frequent mention of examples of different kinds in 
various, parts of the world. Sufficient account of climate should be 
given to introduce an intelligent consideration of the conditions that 
determine the distribution of life ; but this should be made relatively 
subordinate to the main theme, namely, the geography of the lands. 

The associated 'study of the oceans should be relatively brief. It 
should give a condensed account of the ocean basins, recognizing the 
deep continuous basins of the great oceans, the enclosed mediterra- 
neans, and the continental shelves ; of the conditions of the ocean 
bottoms ; of the composition and deep- currents of the sea, and of 
the tides. The relation of these conditions to the distribution of 
oceanic life may be briefly introduced. 

Unless an additional course on meteorology is offered, a sufficient 
practical use of the weather maps should be introduced into the 
course of physiography to furnish the scholars with a knowledge of 
the general principles of weather changes and forecasts. 

Meteorology. Si ce the establishment of the national Weather 
Bureau, meteorology has not only been greatly advanced as a system- 
atic science, but it has become a subject of wide popular interest. 
This, together with its importance as a factor of geography, moves 
the committee to recommend that meteorology be introduced as an 
elective study for half a year in the third or fourth year of the high- 
school course, when practicable. Elementary physics should precede 
it. It should be opened by local observations of the passing weather 
changes, accompanied by a study of a series of daily weather maps, 
and the application of physical principles to explain the general 
phenomena of the atmosphere should follow. Local observations 
should be carried further in this course than they extended in earlier 
years, especially regarding the sequence of phenomena in the atmos- 
phere and the correlation of various weather elements. The study of 
weather maps, already familiar objects from the less s} r stematic study 
of earlier years, should now reach to the clear understanding and 
description of the distribution of temperature and pressure, flow of 
the winds, and occurrence of clear, cloudy, rainy or snowy areas ; 
and to a careful induction of generalizations by which various phe- 
nomena are connected ; for example, the correlation of the direction 
and velocity of the winds with the value of the barometric gradient ; 
or of areas of high or low pressure with the spiral outflowing or in- 
flowing winds and the areas of clear or cloudy and rainy sky. The 
effect of the progression of these areas of high and low pressure on 
local weather changes and their value in weather prediction should be 
made clear ; practical exercises should be given in this connection-, as 
will be more fully explained in a later section. During the advance 


of local observation and study of the weather maps, instruction 
should be given on the more general relations of the science, in which 
the following headings are the most important : Composition and 
offices of the atmosphere ; arrangement of the atmosphere around the 
earth under the action of gravity ; the nature of solar energy and its 
distribution over the earth and through the year ; the different action 
of solar energy on air, land, and water ; the mean annual and seasonal 
distribution of temperature over the earth ; the processes of local and 
general convection ; evaporation, humidity, clouds, rainfall; the dis- 
tribution of atmospheric pressure, and the general circulation of the 
atmosphere, as modified by the annual march of the sun north and 
south, and by the influences of the continents ; storms, both cyclonic 
and local ; weather changes and their prediction ; climate, zones, and 
their relation to habitation. 

Geology. So soon as it shall be practicable to introduce an effec- 
tive course in modern ph}'siography into the high school, it will 
probably not be advisable to give a course in geolog} 7 also, except in 
special cases where the teacher is unusualh' well prepared to teach 
the subject and the locality affords special advantages. At present, 
however, the material and the methods of geology are better known 
to teachers than those of either physiography (in the modern sense) 
or meteorology, and its literature is in better form for school use. 
Until, therefore, physiography and meteorology are developed into 
good working forms and teachers are adequately trained in them, the 
Conference recommend that geology be offered as an elective study for 
a half year in the last }*ear of the high school. Unless either physiog- 
raphy or geology is retained in the high school and given vitality 
and efficienc} r , a serious danger threatens the whole geographic line 
of stud} T in the lower schools, for the great mass of teachers of 
geography have not taken courses beyond the high schools, and in 
the immediate future are not likely to go farther with their education, 
and if they are not taught the elementary processes and principles of 
these sciences there, they will have little real strength as teachers of 
geography. They cannot go much beyond mere facts and formalities. 
The high school must teach those things that are necessary to give 
efficiency to teaching in the lower grades or that teaching will suffer, 
for, great as is the work of the normal schools (and it should be 
greatl} T increased and its value urged by every influence at command) 
they cannot supply the great mass of teachers for the primary, 
intermediate, and grammar schools. Temporarily, therefore, the 
Conference recommend that geology be offered as an elective, in the 
hope that soon physiography and meteorology ma}' take its place, 
leaving it to be transferred to normal schools and colleges. 


As there must be a selection of topics, the committee recommend 
that the nature of the processes involved in the formation and modi- 
fication of the earth's surface, essentially as indicated under the head 
of physiography, be regarded as having the most vital importance 
both to the general student and the prospective teacher. Practical 
instruction in the field on surface forms, on the formation and natural 
occurrence of rocks, and on fossils should form a part of the work. 
Especial attention should be given to an intelligent interpretation of 
the textbook, which is liable to be meaningless to the scholars with- 
out it, however well it may be written. This can be done best by 
local illustrations, carefully examined by the class, for the purpose 
of giving typical conceptions and by the sUuty of cabinet specimens. 
The result of the course should be as apparent in an increased appre- 
ciation of the facts of geolog} 7 as exhibited in the neighborhood of the 
school, as in a knowledge of the general truths of the science of 
world-wide application. 

If, however, schools are not prepared to treat the subject with real 
intelligence and effectiveness, it is better not to. offer it at all. 

The natural order of geographic subjects seems, therefore, to be "~1 
the following : 

1. Elementary Geography, a broad treatment of the earth and its 
inhabitants and institutions, to be pursued in the primary, inter- 
mediate, and lower grammar grades. (^e^f^i^U^ ^ &d*ty<^(*f 

2. Physical Geography, a more special but still broad treatment of 
the physical features of the earth, atmosphere and ocean, and of the 
forms of life and their physical relations, to be pursued in r later 
grammar grades. Jt>&Csi&t-+^ '. C^-^^i^^L. Cs&T^^fe&^&T^r 

3. Physiography, a more advanced treatment of our physical envi- " 
ronment iii which the agencies and processes involved, the origin, 
development, and decadence of the forms presented, and the signifi- 
cance of the features of the earth's face are -the leading themes, 
to be pursued in the later high-school or early college years. 

4. Meteorology, a specialized study of atmospheric phenomena, 
to be offered by schools that are prepared to do so properly, as an 
elective in the later high-school years. 

5. Geology, a study of the earth's structure and its past history, 
to be offered by schools prepared to do so properly, as an elective in 
the last year of the high-school course. 

The precise distribution of these divisions of the subject through 
the several grades of our schools can best be left to the judgment and 
discretion of those who have immediate charge of them, for their best 


distribution depends, in a large degree, upon the preparation and 
ability of the teachers, the character of the school, the advancement 
and intelligence of the community (which greatly aids or retards the 
work of scholars) the local geographic surroundings, and the facilities 
for advantageous study both within and without the school. Each 
step should be satisfactorily taken before the next is attempted. A 
rigid system which forces a class over a given ground in a given time 
without regard to their ability to cover it properly will not be helpful 
to the best results. In general, however, it is the judgment of the 
Conference that too much time is given to the subject in proportion to 
to the results secured. It is not their judgment that more time is 
given to the subject than it merits, but that either more should be 
accomplished or less time taken to attain it. In general, they believe 
the progress of the work is too slow, and that it will be both more 
interesting to the scholars and more successfully done if pushed with 
greater vigor. The work should move on earnestly and at a pace 
that makes the progress obvious to the scholars. Interest lags when 
the advance is too slow. Dawdling and dwelling on trivialities are 
among the great mistakes of the schoolroom. They are especially 
vicious when mistaken for thoroughness. The committee believe that 
the real acquisitions of pupils may be increased twofold, or threefold, 
or fourfold, by right methods and by earnest judicious pressing of the 
work, and hence, that the time given to geography may be somewhat 
shortened and yet higher attainments secured, and that a portion of 
the time thus saved, may be devoted to natural and human history, 
f wherein, if they are properly treated, the geographic factor will be 
brought into its natural place and functions, and the pupils taught 
I that most important of lessons, the utilization of their geographic 
1 knowledge. The Conference regard the subject of geography of equal 
importance with arithmetic in the primary and secondary schools, 
and entitled to equal time, but they think that a like remark concern- 
ing greater results in less time is applicable to the mathematical work. 


The foregoing suggestions relate to the succession of the formal 
divisions of the geographic line of studies and bear rather upon the 
arrangement of the school curriculum than upon the treatment of the 
topics involved. These formal divisions are based largely upon 
practical considerations and natural relationships, and take little 
account of the intellectual processes involved and their proper 
sequences. These latter, however, are the chief considerations in 
the mind of the conscientious and intelligent teacher, for they control 
the specific treatment of the subjects embraced in the study and 

iods of 
; next, J 


determine the habits of thought, and the modes of the work of the 
pupils. The teacher, therefore, needs for his own use (not to give his 
pupils nor to put in the curriculum) a more analytical view of the 
subject based on th,e intellectual processes involved, a view which 
may be an ever-present guide in the arrangement of details and the 
treatment of the special points of the subject. The Conference offer, 
by way of suggestion, the following scheme. The appended remarks 
bear in part upon the educational philosophy entertained, in part 
upon the purpose of the work, and part upon the methods of 
execution. Reduced to a sentence the scheme is : first, see 
reproduce ; then study the productions of others, and, meanwhile, 
ponder and reason on all. 

1. Obscrvationcd Geography. In the judgment of the Conference, 
observation should go before all other forms of geographical study 
and prepare the way for them; its object being (1) to develop the 
power and habit of geographic observation, (2) to give the pupils 
true and vivid basal ideas, and (3) to arouse a spirit of inquiry and a 
thirst for geographical knowledge. This work of observation should 
begin with those features that lie immediately about the pupils c r md so 
fall easily within the reach of their direct study and ready comprehen- 
sion. In rural districts, the natural features of the surface will 
obviously form a large part of the study, while in cities, the artificial 
features must largely take the place of these. In the one instance, 
natural geograph} T , as seen in the forms of the land, the hills, valle}'s, 
plains, meadows, divides, streams, lakes, etc., will predominate, 
while in the other artificial or humanistic geography will receive lead- 
ing attention, as streets, railways, wharves, harbors, parks, plots, 
wards, etc. ; but something of both these groups of subjects may be 
found and utilized in both localities. Neither should be neglected, 
for the pdpils need not only to acquire clear ideas of the things by 
which they are chiefl}* surrounded but type ideas of the things which 
characterize other localities and of which they, need to form correct . 
ideas without being able to see them. Observation, however, should 
not be confined simply to the passive fi'xeH features by which pupils 
are surrounded. They should observe the agencies that produce sur-^] 
face changes, such as winds, rains, floods, thawing, freezing, culti- 
vation, etc. The temporary streams that follow heavy rains represent 
on a small scale many of the natural processes by which surface 
features are produced. From these immediate agencies, the observa- 
tions should extend to the phenomena of the weather and the climate, 
such as temperature, winds, clouds, seasons, etc. As a step toward 
the understanding of mathematical geography, so-called, the children 
should be led to observe the shifting of the sun north and south with 


the seasons and to measure the amount of this by the length of 
shadows at noonday in the different months of the year. They 
should compare these by means of a record kept for the purpose. In 
like manner, they should observe the movements of the stars and 
other heavenly bodies. As a step toward the study of the distribu- 

I tion of plants and animals and an insight into their dependence upon 
temperature, soil, food, etc., the pupils should be encouraged to 
observe the differences of plants on uplands, lowlands, marshes, etc., 
and upon sandy, clayey, gravelly or stony ground, and to note the 
habitual dispersal of animals and insects in the neighborhood, and 
also their relations to each other, as in forming or frequenting forests, 
prairies, meadows, etc. As a step toward the study of the human 

I elements in geography, observations should be made upon the popu- 
lation and its distribution, upon home occupations and productions, 
TTpcrcrlocal political boundaries, as wards, school districts, city or 
town limits, etc., and upon the location of cities, villages, railways, 
canals, etc. Thus, by a little ingenuity and industry, a large part of 
the features that make up the substance of geography in the large 
sense may be found illustrated close at home, and, if suitably studied, 
the basis may be laid for clear conceptions of those features which lie 
beyond the range of the child's observation. 

Observation should not only begin the work in geography but should 
continue throughout the entire course and beyond. If scholars are not 
educated so as to continually observe geographic features and note 
their significance whenever they are brought in contact with them, 
whether during school cl^'s or afterwards, the school work fails of Us 
most important possibilities. The pupils' first observational work is 
necessarily of the simpler and more superficial kind. As knowledge 
and insight increase, they should see more and more of the geographic 
phenomena that come before them and see deeper and deeper into 
their significance and receive increasing pleasure and profit from 
them. To this end, every opportunity for observational work in 
geography should be eagerly embraced. Excursions for the special 
purpose should be made as frequently as practicable, formally or in- 
formally, in school hours and out of school hours, by classes and by 
individuals. Advantage should be taken of incidental excursions in 
which the class or any of its members participate. The little trips 
and longer travels of members of the class should be taken advantage 
of. Late in the course, special studies of certain geographic features 
may be taken up with success and profit. 

2. Representative Geography . Immediately after the making of 
observations should come their reproduction in the form of descrip- 
tions, sketches, maps, models, etc. The instruction of the teacher 


falls far short of its highest efficiency if the early work is merely 
observational and receptive. The great end of education is to create 
productive ability. One important form of this is representative 
production. Besides having value in itself, the description of 
features that have been seen and their representation b}' sketches, 
maps, or models reacts upon the observational work and induces a 
clearness, sharpness, and dcfiniteness that it would not otherwise be 
likely to take. Not only this, but it leads the scholars to realize what 
maps, descriptions, etc., really mean. By this means, pupils arc 
lead up naturally to an ability to read with vividness, ease, and full / 
understanding, the maps and descriptions which constitute the 
medium of the larger part of their later studies, and such ability to 
read is of supreme importance in all subsequent work. 

3. Derivative or Descriptive Geography. When pupils have gained 
true and vivid basal ideas by observation and have, by reproducing 
these, acquired a realistic sense of the meaning of maps and an abil- 
ity to read them, ii: the full and proper sense of the term, they are 
prepared to pass on to a formal study of descriptive geography. In 
this, the observational and representative work of others than them- 
selves is made the basis of study. The pupils are not now studying ' 
the earth's surface but " a description of the earth's surface." The 
work is not direct and immediate, but derivative and secondary. The 
pupils cannot carry their own observations over more than a very 
small fraction of the earth's surface and their work upon even this 
small portion must, in the nature of the case, be very imperfectJ 
Their great dependence must, therefore, be upon the work of others, 
the work of geographical experts, and hence descriptive geography 
must embrace much the largest portion of their attention. The com- 
mon mistake is that it embraces too nearly all of it, and the observa- 
tional and reproductive efforts which are necessary to give the study 

oF descriptions its greatest serviceability are neglected. These should 
be continued throughout the course running parallel with the descrip- 
tive study and supplementing and vivifying it. 

4. Rational Geography. It has already been urged that the ~7 
pupils should be induced to observe changes and processes as well as 
the simple passive facts of geography, and that there should thereby 

be laid the foundation for an understanding of the origin, the__devel-J 
opment, and the future history of geographic features. This is the ** 
introduction of rational geography, as distinguished from the mere 
noting and memorizing of facts. This phase of the subject which 
leads the pupils into the reason of things, should be assiduously cul- 
tivated, for it is the soul of the science. It should, however, be 
carefully adapted to the capabilities of the pupils, particularly in the 


earlier stages of the study. They should not be forced beyond their 
capacity to comprehend the nature of the agencies that have rendered 
geography what it is. On the other hand, there is an equal danger 
of underestimating the capacities of pupils to see into the reasons 
for natural operations. It is as dangerous to allow their capacities to 
lie undeveloped as it is to overload them with reasonings they cannot 
understand, and to force them to carry these in a mere verbal form by 
an effort of memory. The reasonings should be such as the} T can follow 
understandingly, if not work out themselves. If the}' merely commit 
them to memory, they are as dead as other things simply memorized 
and lose entirely the rational element. It ma3 r not be wholly with- 
out value in some cases to give to children a statement of the causes 
of phenomena even though they are unable to understand the methods 
of their operation, but it should be clearly understood that this is not 
teaching the scholars to reason concerning phenomena, or evefi. to 
follow reasonings concerning phenomena, but merely to memorize the 
reasons of phenomena. 

It is not recommended that rational geography be disassociated 
from observational and descriptive geography, but rather, on the 
contrary, that it be intimatel}* connected with these and that it be 
introduced so as to give them life and significance. To do this, skill 
and discretion must be used respecting the way in which the rational 
element is introduced and the extent to which it is carried. 


It is an advantage to the teacher to carry the analysis and classifi- 
cation of the work in geography a step further in the direction of its 
psychological effects so as to make the point of view more exclusively 
and definitely the mental powers to be exercised and developed. But 
this should be understood as having reference solely to the teacher's 
aid and guidance in the arrangement and conduct of the work, and 
not as a formal division of the subject nor as a matter to be taught 
pupils. Clear and definite views of the cultural purposes of the work 
cannot be too strongly urged upon the teacher. Such views will not 
ou\y be a guide to the proper method of treatment of the subject but 
will be constantly suggestive of the difficulties the scholars encounter, 
of the defects of their modes of thinking, and of the ways and means 
of obviating these. While various activities of the mind are called 
into exercise in geographical work, the committee would advise that 
the systematic development of three classes of these should largely 
control the arrangement of the work, viz., (1) thej>pwers of observa- 
tion, (2) the powers of scientific imagination, and (3) the powers of 
reasoning. The cultivation of the powers of observation is necessary 


to furnish clear, accurate, and realistic fundamental ideas and modes 
of thought. These, in turn, are necessary as a ground work for the 
training of the scientific imagination, for clear images are not likely. 
to be formed of things not seen unless clear impressions are formed 
of things seen. The image-producing power is the only means by 
which the larger part of the matter of geography can be presented to 
the mind, and no effort should be spared to give it strength and 
vividness. Both clearness of observation and strength of imagination 
are essential as a basis for safe reasoning ; for recourse must be had 
to both for the ground-work upon which reasoning proceeds. 

Much that falls under this head has been implied in the foregoing 
discussion but, at the risk of some repetition, the following classes of 
topics are cited as suggesting the means of cultivating advantageous!}* 
these powers. The first class may seem too obvious and familiar to 
need "foaming, even in outline, but the second is not so generally 
recognized as calling into exercise the imagination. The definite 
concrete recognition by the teacher of the necessary function of the 
imagination in the study of these topics and the specific application 
of methods suited to the development of clear and strong powers of. 
image-production in the scholars is important to best results. 

A. Under the head of resources for the culture of the observational 
powers will obviously fall (1) study of surface forms, such as hills, 
valleys, plains, plateaus, streams, lakes, shores, and all similar 
phenomena within the pupils' horizon. These may be approached, 
as already indicated, by observations on miniature forms of like 
nature, such as may be found in gutters, gullies, ravines, brooklets, 
ponds, "bottoms," etc.; (2) observations on the temperature and 
its relations to the direction of the sun's rays, the apparent motion of 
the heavenly bodies, as their circling round the poles, the rising and 
setting of some stars and not of others, the shifting north and south 
of the sun, moon, etc. ; (3) movements of the atmosphere and their 
effects, rain and its effects, snow and its effects, fogs, clouds, etc. ; 
(4) plant life and its dependence on heat, moisture, sunlight, etc. ; 
the influence of soil, slope, etc. ; (5) observations on animal life, of 
similar nature ; (6) observations on man in the family, in educational, 
church, social, and business organizations, in city and town organiz- 
ations, and so on up towards the larger human organizations and tLe 
forms of government. So also, observations on city and town plots 
with their street systems, railwa} r s, canals, harbors, their wards, 
school districts, etc. 

B. Under work involving the culture of the imagination will fall 
the formation of concepts of all the larger features of geography and 
of all features beyond the range of observation ; as (1) the river 


basins, the great relief systems, the continental divisions and sub- 
divisions, the ocean bottoms, the distribution of laud and water, and, 
in a less pronounced way, the picturing of all geographical features 
not actually observed ; (2) modifications of apparent motions due to 
imagined changes of position of the observer on the earth's surface, 
such as the position at the pole, on the equator, on the different 
parallels, etc. ; (3) distribution of the meteorological agencies over 
the globe, as moisture, winds, climate ; the mental picturing of the 
great wind movements, the cyclonic circulation, the zones, etc. ; (4) 
distribution of plant life developed in the form of a mental picture in 
its relations to the earth's surface, to land and water, to altitude and 
climatic conditions, as distinguished from a mere memorizing of the 
facts of distribution without any such pictorial conception; (5) 
distribution of animal life in like manner ; (6) distribution of races 
\of men, forms of government, national territory, etc. 

C. Both of the foregoing lists of topics furnish the ground-work 
for the culture of the reasoning powers if the question of causes and 
agencies is raised in connection with them. Why do the several 
features take the forms they do? By what agencies were they 
caused, and why did these agencies work in such ways? How did 
these forms originate? What are the causes of the winds, the clouds, 
the changes of temperature? Why are the animals and plants 
distributed as they are? Why were these cities located as they are? 
Why are these large and those small ? Why do these railways take 
this course rather than another? And so on. 

The Conference do not advise the disassociation of these processes 
for the specific development of these mental powers from each other 
in the practice of the schoolroom, but they do urge that teachers 
clearly recognize them as they are involved in their work and fully 
appreciate their importance. They should definitely associate the 
topics they are endeavoring to teach with the mental powers the} 
bring into exercise, so that there shall be ever present in the mind as 
an object of endeavor not only the mastery of the subject-matter but 
the acquisition of improved mental powers. 

This is not matter to be put before pupils, as they are not presumed 
to be studying psychology. Its value lies in its guidance of the 
teacher's conduct of the work. 


In the discussion of the previous topics, we have necessarily 
touched upon some of the most vital considerations that bear upon 
methods of teaching. This is especially true of those that relate to 
the order of arrangement of the work, the methods of approach to 


the different phases of the subject, and the mental powers to be 
cultivated. But in addition to these more general and fundamental 
suggestions there are considerations that relate to modes of presenta- 
tion and appliances for illustrative instruction that require attention. 
The suggestions of the Conference must necessarily be incomplete, 
and, at the outset, they wish to disclaim any intention of limiting, 
even by suggestion, the modes of teaching to the methods here 
briefly outlined. The Conference hold it to be of first importance that 
every teacher should become so familiar with the subject as to be 
able freely to depart from an}' proposed method according as the 
special conditions of the school shall indicate. At the same time, 
the Conference feel that the following outlines of the manner in which 
different parts of the subject may be laid before a class may prove 
serviceable. Their effort is to suggest briefly and definitely certain 
modes of treatment of the various parts of the subject, believing that 
teachers can infer from these the manner in which other parts of the 
subject may be developed. 

Preliminary Suggestions. Inasmuch as all success in teaching 
depends largely on the ability, training, and opportunities of the 
teacher, several rather miscellaneous recommendations are introduced, 
at the outset, relative to the organization and equipment of the school 
and the training of the teacher. 

We urge that, in the selection of new teachers, only those be 
appointed who, by observation and by practice in recording and 
reproducing their work, have acquired a sufficient knowledge and 
skill to be able to cany out themselves the observations, recordings, 
mappings, and modellings that are expected of their scholars. We 
also recommend that familiarity with the modern aspects of physiog- V^ 
raphy be made a requirement of all special teachers of geography, as 
soon as practicable. 

We strongly urge that self-improvement be stimulated by special 
meetings of geographical teachers wherever these can be organized, 
and that the resources of the schools and of accessible libraries be 
utilized as fully as possible in the presentation and discussion by the 
teachers themselves, at tV.ose meetings, of various special problems 
connected with this specii'.c line of work. 

We recommend tliat schools be supplied (1) with large-scale maps ,S 
of their own district and their own state ; (2) with the best obtainable 
series of general maps, prepared as far as possible on uniform scales ; 
the style of projection and the scale being indicated on each map ; 
(3) with a sufficient number of small globes to enable every scholar, 
sufficiently advanced, to study the globe individually, at one hour 
or another, during the day, just as a book might be studied ; (4) 


with illustrations of various kinds as liberally as possible, including 
"""photographs, lantern slides, and means of projection ; (5) if possible, 
with a few models (whose scales should not be unreasonably 
exaggerated) representing the home district, if these can be obtained, 
or, if not, at least with typical models of some interesting regions of 
our own country; (G) with books of reference on history, travels, 
natural history, etc., involving geographical elements and suitable for 
the use of both scholars and teachers, and in increasing numbers 
year by year ; (7) with a selected series of topographical maps for use 
in schools (see note below). In order that the expense incurred in 
procuring all these materials should not be too heavy, at any one 
time, it is suggested that it be divided and distributed over several 
years, rather than that the supply of materials be neglected. In 
man}' cases, the assistance of generous patrons of public schools may 
be enlisted to this end. 

We recommend that eacli teacher keep a book of record, in 
addition to any records kept by scholars, and that in this the more 
general and important results of class work be set down for future, 
reference ; thus accumulating a fund of original information, largely 
the product of the scholars' own activities, which will be serviceable 
to them, later in their studies, and to their successors. 

We urge that at all stages and in all parts of the study of geography 
the teacher, rather than the textbook, should lead the class. A good 
textbook is necessary to furnish maps and other material of study, to 
secure conciseness of definition, and to save time in study, after 
a proper introduction to its texts has been given by the teacher, 
nnd a good textbook should give a better presentation of the subject 
than teachers can usually be expected to command. So also, 
recitations based on textbooks are indispensable in order to secure 
precision of understanding and of statement on the part of the 
scholars. But every stage of the subject should be naturally intro- 
duced and illustrated by the teacher, and the textbook should be kept 

- NOTE. Regarding a series of topographical maps for use in high schools, the 
Conference voted that the chairman should appoint a committee whose duty it 
should be to select from topographical maps of the United States Geological 
Survey such a series as shall best illustrate the principal topographical forms of 
our country, and al?;o to select from the charts of the Coast and Lake Surveys a 
series which shall best illustrate the principal features of our shore lines ; and 
that high schools be urged to purchase these series of maps, together with the 
topographic maps of the district in which the school is located, if such have been 
made. When this committee reports, it is probable that the list of maps which 
it selects will be published, together with the prices at which they can be 
obtained. Professors William M. Davis, Charles F. King, and George L. Collie 
were appointed as such committee. 


in its proper place as an aid and not as a master, and mere lesson- 
hearing should never be allowed to replace actual teaching. 

It is scarcely necessary to say that the simple memorizing, or the 
slavish following, of the textbook should be avoided, and the work 
adapted to the particular class of pupils under instruction and to 
their geographic surroundings. In departing from the textbook, 
however, the opposite mistake of consuming undue time in giving the 
scholars what the textbook would give them in better form, and in 
dwelling on trivial local things, or on mere illustrations that are not 
necessary to develop the essentials, or on simple entertainment, or 
on carrying out a mere ideal method, should be avoided. The work 
should be important and the matter valuable, either in itself, or as a 
means of reaching that which is valuable. The leading up to a 
subject, and the leading out into it, should be such as to aid the 
pupils in making the highest and best use of the textbook and of all 
geographical literature with which the} r come in contact. 

Modelling, drawing, and other graphic modes of expression are 
fully recognized as indispensable means of aiding the imagination, 
intensifying thought, and strengthening memory. But these means 
should be kept subordinate to the study of the subject itself. They 
may be made ineffective and even harmful by degrading them to the 
drudgery of mere imitation, or the simple copying of other maps or 

The habit of making use of geographical knowledge in all studies 
to which it is applicable and the practice of constantly locating places 
on maps should be encouraged. In all reading, especially the study 
of history, travels, explorations, and other treatises including 
geographic descriptions, the places mentioned should always be 
carefully located. 

The desirability of a better execution of maps for school purposes 
is urged, as also the use of both the English and metric scale. A 
statement of the projection employed in each map is desirable. It is 
especially urged that relief maps should be reduced as nearly to 
natural scale as possible, and that, in all maps, the representations 
should be as realistic as practicable, and the coloring and lettering, 
while clear and distinct, should be subordinate to the geographic 

Topical recitation and study should be used as freely as practicable, 
and the subject developed by comparison of observations, by 
discussions, and by readings from all sources available, and by the 
introduction of all kinds of illustration. A larger use of works of 
travel adapted to the capacity of the pupils is strongly recommended. 

The teacher can economize time in recitation by using the facts 


gained by a study of the assigned lesson as a point of departure for 
the purpose of leading on to additional facts and causes and 
results, for making comparisons, and for stimulating fresh thought 
upon the subject, instead of going over the subject solely to test the 
pupils' memory and faithfulness. As an illustration, the class having 
learned what they can about the Mississippi River, instead of spend- 
ing half an hour asking pupils in turn the length of the river, where 
it rises, between what states it flows, and into what body of water it 
empties, the teacher and the class may take an imaginary ride from 
the Falls of St. Anthony down the river, and develop the facts 
connected with its course and their applications in a graphic and 
realistic way from the imaginary deck of a steamer. 

We urge upon teachers the free use of the crayon and blackboard. 
The simplest illustrations are of the greatest help, as, for instance, 
sketches of mountains, lakes, bays, etc., a few lines to show the 
comparative size of mountains, fanciful shapes of countries, sketch 
maps of countries, or parts of a countiy, localities of coal, silver, 
gold, or copper fields, simple sketches of plant and animal life, belts 
of forests and deserts, etc. The outlines of a country painted upon 
a cloth blackboard, in oil, form an invaluable and inexpensive piece 
of apparatus which can be used by the teacher while imparting 
information, and by the pupil in recitation. 

Charts, which can be readily made upon manilla paper with the 
rubber pen, are of great assistance in preserving illustrations for use 
from year to year. 

The descriptive matter which is generally given in regular 
geographical textbooks is too condensed and often too dryly stated 
to awaken the highest interest in children in the intermediate and 
grammar grades. The matter given in most works of travel and in 
geographical readers is better adapted to the understanding and 
appreciation of young pupils. In most of these books, the personal 
element interests the young minds and awakens their closest attention. 
Within a few years " geographical supplementaiy reading " has been 
provided in such abundance that every teacher has large opportunities 
of selection in this line of reading, and the free use of this is 

Methods in the Lowest Grades. While the simpler facts of a 
geographical nature cannot be introduced too early in a child's 
education, it is not recommended that the formal study of geography 
as a separate subject, however elementaiy, be undertaken in the 
lowest grades. But the habit of observation should be stimulated as 
soon as the child enters the school and its development constantly 
encouraged. The plan of the schoolhouse and schoolyard and the 


geographical surroundings of the school furnish immediate oppor- 
tunities for this work of observation in the geographical line. The 
power of verbal expression, which should receive attention at the 
outset, and facility in writing and reading, which comes later, are 
developed most naturally in connection with subjects that lie within 
the observation of the child, and man}' of these are geographical. 
Narratives involving travel and descriptions of foreign countries and 
peoples may be included as properly in the reading matter of the 
school as the} 7 are in the stories which children delight to hear at 
home. Inasmuch as the first years of the school work are, for 
the most part, years of preparation for the work to follow, it is 
of the utmost importance that good intellectual habits be formed. 
Correct observation and accurate statement of simple facts, con- 
centration of thought on simple subjects which easily absorb the 
attention, and precise memory of matters which readil}' remain 
in the mind are modes by which, through the aid of geographical 
surroundings, good basal habits of mental action ma}' be developed. 

The meaning of a map can be gradually developed in the minds of 
pupils "In the third and fourth grade by having the children, with 
some help from the teacher, first draw a simple plan of the school- 
room, marking the places of the doors, windows, and the teacher's 
desk ; then add, on the same scale, the pupils' desks, and then other 
fixed objects. After this has been done, a sketch map of the school 
yard and the streets, or roads, in the vicinity may be made. The 
teacher may first draw on the blackboard while the pupils draw on 
paper, adding line after line, and naming each as it is drawn. When 
the sketch is finished, let a pupil point out on it how he would go 
from the school to his home and tell the points of interest or 
importance passed on. the wa}\ In this way, lines begin to have a 
representative value in the mind of the child. From the map of the 
home locality, the teacher may proceed to the making of a map of 
the country, state, and grand division, always emphasizing the 
meaning of each line used. If the teacher can show pictures of 
places never seen by the class, as a vallej r through which a river 
flows, and will then make maps of the same, it will help the pupils to 
understand maps still better. 

The class may then be taught to read or interpret maps of different 
kinds, to explain the use of color, of shading, of parallels, of scale, 
etc. The meaning of scale can be impressed upon the young child by 
the teacher by first drawing a map in a rectangle divided into square 
inches whose sides represent, for instance, just 1000 miles. Then 
draw the same map in a smaller rectangle and ask the children 
questions in reference to the squares, length of lines, etc. 


After children understand the significance of color on physical maps, 
their attention can be called to the use of other means of representing 
the same facts, as by shading, hachures, and contour lines. 

Mapping as a means for the reproduction and graphic illustration 
of facts learned, and to aid the memory, is of the greatest importance. 
When the outlines are only a groundwork for the plotting of the 
significant matter, time may be saved by procuring these already 
printed, or manifolded by some of the many cheap methods now in 
use. These can then be filled in with lines and words to represent 
the points under study as elevations, drainage, productions, exports, 
commerce, etc. The filling in may be done gradually at the end of 
each lesson, thus forming what may be appropriately called a " pro- 
gressive map." 

Methods in the Intermediate and Grammar Grades. As the work 
advances to the formal study of geography, every new branch of the 
subject should be naturally introduced by easy transition from what 
has gone before or from some new quality of local observation. No 
new step should be taken until the class is clearly ready to take it. 
The art of the teacher should be so exercised that the class is lead 
towards the next division of the subject before the precedir.gxHie is 
passed, and, if possible, questions should be elicited from the 
brighter scholars whose answers will anticipate the subject next to bo 
considered. The intelligence of the children will be an important 
clement in determining the pi ogress of study. Great care should be 
taken to develop the use of local opportunities in such order as- will 
best open the more advanced parts of the subject. A vaiying 
emphasis must be given to different subjects according to the need 
of the class. 

The greatest care should be given, to secure clearness of ideas. 
For this reason, we recommend again that observational study should 
form the beginning of every new division of the subject, if it can be 
done, and that the exercise of the imagination of remote objects 
should always be preceded, if possible, by the exercise of the obser- 
vation of similar facts near at home. The expert .teacher will nearly 
everywhere find that the variety of available material increases as 
practice in this method is continued. 

In view of what has alread}' been said under previous heads, we do 
not feel- that it is necessary to enter further into detail as to methods 
of teaching common geography or the common phases of phrysical 
geography, especially as they are somewhat fully set forth in avail- 
able treatises, but in view of the new factors in physiography and 
meteorology, we have entered into a somewhat full sketch of methods 
of treatment of those subjects. 


Methods in Physiography. Inasmuch as meteorology is considered 
under a separate heading, and as oceanograph}- can seldom receive 
close attention, we shall here confine ourselves to a consideration of 
the physiography* of the land. 

The method adopted in teaching this subject in the high school 
should be such as to bring out clearly its leading educational values : 
first, the understanding that it gives of the forms of the land at home 
and abroad as dependent on the stage of advance of various 
processes ; second, the practice that it requires in the conception of 
the many variable and interacting agencies on which the forms of the 
land depend. 

In order to secure the successful application and illustration of the 
principles of physiography in the home district, we advise that the 
teacher of this subject should, if possible, have had some outdoor 
experience .in geological field work, as it is only through such ^ 
experience that local illustrations can be utilized to the fullest 
advantage and a sufficiently practical turn can be given to the study. 

To reach the best results, we advise that the following classes of 
materials be supplied as liberally and utilized as fully as possible : 

Maps : Not only the physical maps of the larger land divisions, 
alread}' introduced in more elementary teaching ; but also special 
maps of restricted areas on large scale, illustrative of typical land 
forms, such as it is the intention of the Conference to select and 
recommend for use, through its sub-committee, as referred to on 
page 135 : the object gained Iry these large scale maps being the 
actual representation of the actual forms of the land, instead of the 
mere indication of the locality where certain forms occur, as is the 
case with the use of small-scale maps. 

Illustrations: Not so much of different places, as of different kinds 
of places ; the effort being to present a systematic series of the 
different classes of land forms. These may be secured in part from 
illustrated newspapers and magazines ; still better in photographs and 
lantern slides ; some form of lantern for projection being essential 
to the attainment of the best results. The collection of illustrations 
should be gradually extended and improved from year to year. The 
use of colored chalks on the blackboard may be made very effective in 
representing maps, sections, ideal diagrams, birds-eye views, etc. 

Models : While elaborate models and relief-maps are too expensive 
for general use, effective reliefs of diagrammatic style are less costly 
and should be introduced. Diagrammatic models should be made by 
the teacher ; for it is fair to expect that the skill manifested by 3*oung 
scholars in making their sand and clay reliefs should be far enough 
developed in the teacher of physiograph}- to produce original models 


of typical land-forms in their physical relations. When made with 
some attention to artistic finish such models are of great assistance in 

Books : Use should be made as far as possible of the descriptions 
of classic examples of land-forms in books of travel, survey reports, 
and scientific periodicals, such as' are generally accessible in the 
libraries of the larger cities. A collection of extracts from these 
sources, made by the assistance of the scholars, may be gradually 
accumulated in such variety as to be of much service. 

Other Materials: A collection of common minerals and rocks 
should be made use of in describing the constitution of the crust of 
the earth on which the carving of the destructive forces of the 
weather produces the land-forms on which we live. Care should be 
taken not to extend this collection unnecessarily and to exclude from 
it all misrepresentative specimens. The weathering of rocks and the 
production of soils should be illustrated by a special suite of 
specimens, selected from the school district, if possible. Character- 
istic varieties of glacial drift deserve especial attention in the northern 
states. Weather maps should be secured from the nearest publishing 
station of the Weather Bureau, carefully preserved from year to year, 
until examples of different weather t} r pes are obtained in sufficient 
variety ; the treatment of these maps having been explained in other 
sections of this report. 

In offering the following suggestions regarding the conduct of the 
course in physiography, we repeat the caution already expressed 
regarding the intention of such suggestions. It is not in the least our 
purpose to constrain any teacher from the greatest individual freedom 
in his work ; indeed the higher success that we desire to see can be 
reached only when the teacher is free to apply his own manner of 
representation, explanation, and illustration. Yet we conceive that 
the following indications of the manner in which the subject may be 
presented will be of service to some superintendents and teachers in 
making our measure of the subject and its educational value more 
explicit. For the sake of brevity we shall consider only that part 
of the subject that is concerned with the development of land-forms. 

The general conception of the wasting of a land area and the 
ultimate production of a lowland of denudation from whatever form the 
area had in its earlier stages, deserves early and deliberate illustration. 
Around this fundamental conception, the teacher ma}' group a variety 
of facts, both local and general, concerning the rocks and their 
structural relations in the earth's crust, on the one hand, and the 
weather and its summation in climate, on the other hand. However 
hard its rocks, however dry the climate, a lowland of faint relief is 


the ultimate form of every land area under the slow wasting of its 
surface ; and during all the progress of this wasting, a systematic 
sequence of forms is exhibited. The essential elements in the study 
are thus introduced early and in their simplest form ; the slow but 
continuous variation of laud forms under these processes ; the long 
duration of time that must be considered, even if not conceived. 
Every part of the land surface represents some stage in the course of 
its progress from its beginning in constructional uplifting or accumu- 
lation, towards its end as a completed lowland of denudation. Every 
part of the district around the school must be regarded in its true 
light as partly advanced on its way to extinction under the ceaseless 
attack of the weather. 

The particular consideration of rivers, under whose guidance the 
waste of the land is carried to the sea, may be advisably introduced 
as the next general heading ; because, from whatever constructional 
processes of accumulation or uplift a region had its beginning, there 
are certain general features of river-life common to all regions, and 
these may be convenient!}' presented before the different structural 
kinds of land forms are taken up. This serves not only to impress 
upon the scholars the systematic sequence of form-changes during 
the progress of general denudation, but also to emphasize the many 
features of the land that are associated with the development of its 
drainage. Throughout this division of the subject, (particular care 
should be taken to bring the class into sympathy with the subject, by 
forgetting for the moment human measures of time and. looking at 
rivers in the way rivers would look at themselves. Thus are 
examined the conditions that determine the original drainage area of 
a river, the location of its enclosing divides, and the arrangement of 
tributary branches ; then the quick deepening of its valle3*s and trw 
drainage of any lakes in which its waters may be at first detained ; 
and, at the same time, the development of additional young side- 
streams, the accompanying subdivision of the drainage area, and, 
occasionally, the rearrangement of discharge by the shifting of 
divides under the action of active competing streams ; with the rapid 
deepening of the valleys comes at first the development and later 
the extinction of the water falls ; with the widening of the valleys 
comes the slow spreading out of land-waste in floodplains where the 
mature streams meander, and in deltas, where the streams branch 
out in "distributaries." Late in river-life, when the inter-stream 
hills are wasted away, the old streams wander sluggishly almost at 
will along ill-defined courses, slowly doing the little that remains for 
the completion of their life-work. During the advance of this 
consideration, specific examples may be given of rivers in one or 


another sjgge of _ development from various parts of the world, thus 
utilizing the maps and illustrations above described. The relation of 
the development of a river to the opportunity for occupation of its 
basin, or use of its current by man, supplies many interesting subjects 
for detaining the attention and extending the understanding of the 

The river-lesson may be extremely valuable in giving life and 
meaning to the commonplace facts of geography ; and especially in 
bringing the class into appreciative relation with such rivers and 
streams as they may see about their homes. A comparison of these 
home examples with others more distant but in similar stages of 
development, or a contrast with others in dissimilar stages of 
development, offers an admirable means of acquainting scholars with 
the general facts of geography. ( The citation of many illustrations 
of river development impresses scholars with the reality of the 
changes of land forms, and with the systematic sequence of these 
changes. The face of the earth thus comes to have a new aspect, 
and a long step is made toward that intimate acquaintance with the 
life of inorganic nature which this subject strives to promote. J 

After gaining an understanding of changes in the life of an undis- 
turbed river, the effects of elevation, depression, or deformation of 
the land, or of climatic changes may be introduced. With their 
introduction, an important step is taken toward the more complicated 
conditions of nature ; at the same time, the subject becomes somewhat 
more difficult from the necessity of maintaining a greater number of 
factors in mind while interpreting the relations of rivers having more 
or less disturbed development. Yet with a deliberate and well- 
illustrated approach to this division of the subject, it should present 
no serious difficulty to high-school classes. 

The consideration of regions of different structure, and hence of 
different surface expression, advisably follows the preceding account 
of river development. While the general arrangement and form 
of valleys has there been explained, the form of the hills, plateaus, 
ridges and mountains between the valleys now becomes the leading 
object. The explanations of geological structure here required will 
v. present no difficulty, if the teacher has a personal knowledge of 
such subjects from field experience ; but otherwise it is doubtful if 
this plan of treatment can be usefully introduced into the high-school 
course. In illustration of what is here intended, we may briefl}' refer 
to the group of plains and plateaus, characterized by possessing a 
horizontally stratified structure. These may be first considered v 
according to the condition of their accumulation ; as marine plains, 
lacustrine plains, fluviatile plains, lava plains, snow plains, and 


dust plains. Second, according to the manner in which those formed 
under water have become exposed as dry land ; as by upheaval from 
beneath the sea, by down-cutting of lake outlets, by evaporation of 
lake waters in arid climates, by melting away of the ice barriers of 
glacial lakes. Third, according to the expression of surface form as 
dependent on complication of structure, altitude above sea-level, 
stage of development, condition of climate. Fourth, according to 
the distribution of plains and plateaus of different kinds ; thus we find 
a young marine plain in Florida, an old marine plain, much dissected, 
in West Virginia ; a young lacustrine plain in Minnesota and Dakota, 
an older lacustrine plain in the Green River Basin of Wyoming ; a 
3'oung lava plain in the Snake River Basin of Idaho, an older lava 
plain in West Scotland, and so on. Mountains should receive 
similar treatment. Features of glacial origin deserve especial atten- 
tion in the northern states. Experience shows that when the 
subdivisions of the land are thus rational!}* explained, their peculiar- / 
ities are much more easily remembered, and their relations tcr 
habitation and productions are much more fully appreciated. Just 
as in botany and zoology, where no attempt is made to describe all 
the forms of plants and animals and their distribution over the earth, 
but where the scholar is shown the more important forms, with their 
correlations, as determined, not by apparent similarity, but by 
development ; so in physiography," it is not advisable to attempt an 
account of all parts of the earth, when only the slightest attention ' 
could be allotted to each ; it is better to give careful attention to the 
more significant parts, and to study these in their natural relations, 
introducing a sufficient number of examples to give a good idea of 
the distribution of various forms, and of their relation to habitation 
and production. By these means, a better idea is gained of the 
features of the earth's sur.'ac. 1 , and the scholars are enabled afterwards 
to recognize and enjoy the expression of the face of nature when they ; 
are moving about over the world in later life. / 

Methods of Teaching Meteorology, (a) Intermediate or Grammar 
School Course. The simplest facts concerning the weather may be 
introduced into observational studies as early as the teacher desires. 
These should be followed by simple instrumental records in the fourth 
or fifth year, never so complex or frequent as to be burdensome, so 
that when the sixth and seventh year of school is reached, the scholar 
will have gained an elementary but practical and familiar acquaintance 
with the use of the thermometer, the wind vane, and the rain-gauge. 
The barometer and hygrometer should be introduced, if possible, but 
not so early as the simpler instruments. Habits of punctuality, care, 
neatness, and system may be taught by keeping a record, and excellent 


arithmetical practice may be given in determining averages and totals ; 
but the teacher should take care that the scholars' attention be 
directed to the phenomena of atmospheric changes, as well as to their 
intrumental records. 

/ Accompanying the local observation of weather elements, a simple 
study of weather maps should be introduced ; but this should progress 
very slowly, in order that the best value may be derived from it. 
The following suggestions may be of service in this connection. 
Assuming that the school can receive a supply of daily weather maps 
for at least a part of the school year, and that it has access to maps 
received in earlier years : let the teacher select several of the older 
maps on which the winds over the country east of the Rocky 
Mountains happened to be moving in a systematic manner, for 
example, a great volume of southerly winds moving northward from 
the Gulf up the Mississippi Valley and inland from the South Atlantic 
Coast, while westerly winds are advancing across the great plains ; 
or a broad sweep of westerly or northwesterly winds spreading all 
over the eastern half of the country, as during a cold wave. Draw 
the wind arrows in heavy black lines, for easier seeing ; such work 
as this may often be entrusted to advantage to some of the better 
draftsmen among the scholars. In order to enforce the idea that the 
whole lower part of the atmosphere is moving, and not simply the 
winds at certain stations of observation, draw many intermediate 
lines, accordant with the directions of the wind arrows ; the length, 
or heaviness, of these lines may be made to indicate the velocity of 
the winds. A series of charts may thus be prepared with little 
trouble, from which an effective presentation of some of the greater 
facts of meteorology can be easily and clearly made. These maps 
may be used as the basis of exercises in writing ; the description 
of their wind movements deserves careful statement. When the 
spiral winds about areas of high pressure and of low pressure are 
included in the series, the scholars will find all their powers of verbal 
description called on to enable them to state the facts properly. The 
continued use of the maps will also serve to impress man} 7 geograph- 
ical facts on the memory. 

t/ Areas of cloud and rainfall may be treated in a similar way ; and 
their contrast with adjacent areas of fair or clear sky afford much 
material for study and description. The presence of clear weather in 
one region, while heavy rains are falling in another, is thus taught in 
a simple and effective manner. 

The distribution of temperature should be introduced, first, by 
entering the thermometer readings at the various stations on the map 
in strong figures, so that a class may easily see them ; and then 


asking for verbal statements concerning the warmer and colder parts 
of the country. By selecting maps in which temperature contrasts 
are distinct, many interesting exercises may be developed in this 
manner. When the idea of distribution of warmer and colder areas 
is gained, it may be suggested that one of the class draw a line 
to separate all that region which is warmer than 60, for example, 
from the region colder than 60. Similar lines may be drawn by 
other scholars on other maps. Summer and winter maps may be 
compared. When the lines are familiar, they may be named 
"isotherms." If the subject is one in which the teacher takes 
especial interest, and which therefore properly receives more extended 
treatment than it might otherwise, an additional exercise may be 
made on a series of lines at right angles to the isotherms (the lines 
of temperature-decrease, or the " thermometric gradient" lines) 
along which the most rapid decrease of temperature would be 
experienced. Their trend is generally northward, but on certain 
occasions their course is peculiarly deformed eastward or westward. 

Barometer readings should be treated in the manner outlined for 
temperatures. The small difference of their values will soon be 
noted ; and the frequent occurrence of limited oval areas of slightly 
higher or lower pressure than that of their surroundings will soon 
attract the attention of the scholars. As with temperature, so here, 
an examination of the curved lines at right angles to the isobars, 
along which the pressure decreases, will prove instructive ; these lines 
will converge towards the centre of low pressure areas, and diverge 
from the centre of high pressure areas. When the isobaric lines are 
close together, the lines of pressure-decrease should be drawn heavier, 
to indicate a rapid decrease of pressure. The rapidity of decrease of 
pressure, as indicated by the closeness of adjacent isobars, should be 
compared on different maps. When the rate and direction of decrease 
of pressure can be talked about familiarly it may be spoken of as 
"barometric gradient." By slow and patient work, even this 
relatively advanced idea will be grasped by children in the grammar 
school ; but to attain success, it is of the utmost importance that the 
work should progress no faster than the scholars ask for it by their 
behavior with the maps. It would be better to have the work thus*" 
far outlined extended over occasional exercises for a year than to 
hasten too fast, making apparent but unreal, unsubstantial progress. 

When examples of winds, temperatures, clouds, rainfall, and \s 
pressures have been given in sufficient number, a combination of two 
elements, as wind and pressure, may be introduced ; and here, in 
particular, the scholars should be given time to discover for them- 
selves the simple relations existing between two such elements. We 


are persuaded that the error is commonly made, in schools where 
weather maps are used, of going too fast under the lead of the 
teacher's brief explanations, perhaps because the teachers themselves 
are not % yet familiar enough with the great lessons that the maps may 
give ; thus not only passing over many matters with insufficient 
understanding by the scholars, but also preventing the practice 
in discovery which here develops so great an interest among children 
when they are in a properly awakened state, and which gives well- 
trained scholars so strong an encouragement in their studies. The 
teacher should supply maps in a proper order, he should guide the 
advance of the class by judicious questions ; but he should leave 
them to find out the simple meteorological laws, such as those which 
associate the movement of the winds with the distribution of 
atmospheric pressure ; the variation of temperature with the direction 
of the winds, etc. In this way, the following principles may be 
established : The winds flow towards the regions of lower pressures, 
but they generally turn a little to the right of the lines of pressure- 
decrease, that is, to the right of barometric gradient. The winds 
blow faster when the pressure decreases rapidly, and calms or 
light breezes prevail where the pressure is comparatively equable. 
The winds blow in left-handed curving spirals in areas of low 
pressure, and in right-handed outward spirals in areas of high 
pressure, and the}' are generally stronger in the former than in 
the latter. Southerly winds cause a rise of temperature ; northerly 
winds cause a fall of temperature. Areas of low pressure are 
generally cloudy, with rain in summer, and with rain or snow in 
winter ; areas of high pressure are prevailingly clear with warm days 
and cool nights in summer, and with cold weather and extremely 
cold nights in winter. These areas move in a general eastward 
course over the country, carrying their changes of wind and weather 
with them, in such a manner that the stationary observer suffers 
changes from clear to cloudy weather, and from warm southerly to 
cool northerly or westerly winds as they pass. Thunderstorms of 
summer time generally occur in the southeastern quadrant of low 
pressure areas. 

During the advance of this work, current weather maps may be 
introduced to give exercise on the problems in hand, whenever they 
serve the purpose well. A connection may thus be made between 
the local weather noted at the school and the general atmospheric 
conditions over the country ; and a passing rainstorm, or a strong 
change of temperature, may be thus traced with great interest and 
profit. All through the work, continual practice should be maintained 
in formulating and -writing the conclusions reached by study. As 


the study advances, these written records become, in effect, so many 
compact generalizations in which the scholars' inductions are 
preserved. The training' of mental powers and the encouragement 
given to persevering and intelligent stud} 7 are not among the least of 
the results gained from work of this kind. 

Without going further through an account of elementary exercises, 
based on the weather map and illustrated by local weather obser- 
vations, we may add a few examples of subjects that may be borrowed 
from meteorology for the aid of descriptive geography. The 
prevalence of westerly winds and the general advance of areas of 
high and low pressure from west to east may be mentioned as one of 
the strongest characteristics of the middle temperate zone ; and in 
contrast, the oblique northeast and southeast trade winds, blowing 
steadily, with few stormy interruptions, may be instanced as a 
prevailing characteristic of the torrid zone. The greater intensity of 
weather changes may be pointed out as a feature of winter, when we 
experience something of frigid conditions ; the less intensity of 
weather change is a feature of summer, when we are visited by 
almost torrid heat. The general increase of rain or snov/ within 
areas of low pressure, as they approach the Atlantic Coast, may be 
used to explain the aridity of our western interior region, and of 
other continental interiors. The smaller variations of temperature 
near the coast, and particularly on the Pacific Coast, than in the 
upper Mississippi Valley, may be employed to teach one of the 
greatest climatic contrasts of the world. 

(b) High /School Course. The course in meteorology in the high 
school should be directed quite as much towards a training in the 
methods of logical investigation, as towards imparting information 
concerning the science. It should not be attempted until after a 
course in physics is passed. For the sake of brevity, only the 
shortest outline of the work can be introduced. 

Facts of local observation about the school a'nd of extended 
observation through the weather maps bring almost continuous but 
variable movements of the atmosphere before the class. The 
correlations discovered from the weather maps in the grammar school, 
now reviewed, show a clear connection between the movement of the 
winds and a variety of the other weather elements. Let it therefore 
be suggested that the cause of the winds be the main line of study, 
leaving the associated phenomena to be examined and explained in 
their natural connection with the winds. 

Recalling the teaching of physics, it appears that no cause for 
atmospheric movement is so available as convection, that is, a gravi- 
tative circulatory movement, excited by differences of temperature. 


Under assumed conditions as to temperature, the resulting distribution 
of atmospheric pressure and flow of the winds may be deduced in 
accordance with accepted physical principles, and this process may 
be at once contrasted with the inductive process by which the 
correlations of the weather maps were established. It may be then 
stated that if the distribution of temperature over the earth were 
known, the general circulation of the winds and the distribution of 
pressure could be predicted, and, according to the closeness of 
agreement afterwards found between these predictions and the facts, 
the theor}' of the convectional cause of the winds would be accepted 
or rejected, thus introducing the class to a rational method of 
scientific investigation, applicable in all manner of studies, as well as 
in meteorology. 

On perceiving the direction thus given to further inquiry, the study 
of the control and distribution of atmospheric temperature is naturally 
taken up, because it is manifestly needed before further advance can 
be made. Under this division of the subject the teacher is advised 
to make clear the distinction between radiant solar energy, which 
traverses the celestial spaces in all directions from the sun, and of 
which a very small part reaches the earth, and the heat produced 
when this energy is acquired or absorbed by terrestrial matter. 
i/Interesting illustrations of physical processes are found in this 
connection ; the different rates of absorption of radiant energy by air, 
water, and land, the control of temperature by specific heat, latent 
heat, dynamic cooling of ascending air currents, etc., etc. 

The distribution of temperature on annual and seasonal isothermal 
charts may next be studied, noting the prevailingly high and uniform 
temperatures of the torrid zone, the variable temperature of the 
temperate zone, and the prevailingly low temperatures of the frigid 
zones ; noting also the small variations of temperature from season 
to season on the oceans, even in relatively high latitudes, while the 
lands of the temperate zone have extremely variable temperatures. 

In accordance with the theory of convectional circulation, it is now 
possible to predict the distribution of pressure and the flow of the 
winds, on the assumption that they are entirely the product of 
differences of temperature maintained by the sun. The predictions 
should be carefully formulated and entered on a blank map of the 
world. A series of annual and seasonal charts of pressures and 
winds should then be compared with the predicted consequences of 
the theory. It will be apparent that the theory is incomplete, because 
there are many differences between its predicted consequences and 
the facts ; but all these differences are explained when adequate 
account is taken of the effect of the earth's rotation in deflecting the 


winds from the gradients and in rearranging the distribution of 
pressures. A good understanding of the general circulation of the 
atmosphere and its seasonal variations ma} r thus be gained. Both the""} 
value and the danger of the deductive method, and the importance of 
continually confronting the consequences deduced from theory with_ 
the results of observation may be impressed by this lesson. 

On attaining a rational understanding of the prevailing winds of 
the world, the consideration of atmospheric moisture and clouds may 
be introduced before the study of storms and rainfall is approached. 
In connection with the formation of clouds, the effects of the 
liberation of latent heat during the condensation of vapor should be 
deliberately examined, as a matter of much importance in the larger 
processes of convection. 

Tropical cyclones offer the best introduction to the study of the 
stormy interruptions of the general circulation of the atmosphere. 
These cyclones are well-defined phenomena, closely studied in certain 
tropical seas, and of serious importance as dangers to navigation. 
The place and season of their origin and the manner of their action 
point to the conclusion that they are violent convectional whirls, 
turning in consequence of the earth's rotation, and supplied with much 
of their energy from the latent heat of the vapor that is condensed 
to furnish their heavy rains. They exhibit in a small way many 
features already familiar in the general circulation of the atmosphere 
around the poles. On coining next to cyclonic storms, and the anti- 
cyclonic areas of temperate latitudes, which together constitute the 
regions of low and high pressure in our weather maps, the presumption 
that they are convectional phenomena is naturally conceived, because 
convection has been previously found to be so sufficient a cause of the 
general circulation of the atmosphere and of tropical cyclones ; but 
on perceiving that our cyclones and anticyclones are more frequent 
and more violent in winter than in summer, [jtheir convectional 
origin cannot be taken for granted, and other causes for their action"^' 
must be examined. The science of meteorology is at present 
undecided on this question ; although the weight of evidence leans 
towards explaining the cyclones and anticyclones of the temperate 
zones as an effect of irregular movements in the general circulation, 
rather than as independent, spontaneous, convectional phenomena. The 
absence of a demonstrated settlement of this question is not held to be 
good reason for excluding the discussion of the causes of these most 
interesting and important phenomena from the range of high school 
study. ^Students should as carefully learn to hold open opinions on 
disputed subjects as they are led to believe firmly in the demonstrable ) 
propositions of geometry. In all argumentative studies, the evidenc^" 


J 1 


leading to the conclusions, and not simply the conclusions, should 

I receive careful consideration. 

The cyclones and antic}'clones of our latitudes are found of great 
importance not only in explaining the changes of weather as has 
already been made familiar from earlier study but also in the 
determination of the occurrence of local thunderstorms and tornadoes ; 
for these are determined for the most part by instability produced by 
the importation of warm and cold currents about the areas of low and 
high pressure. 

The distribution of rainfall is best introduced after the explanation 
of winds and storms, both general and local. It ma}' be used in 
confirmation of the explanations already given of the winds the 
migrating equatorial rains of the doldrums ; the dry belts of the 
trade winds, except where they blow against mountains, the stormy 
rains of the westerty winds in temperate and higher latitudes ; the 
subtropical winter rains all these follow as corollaries of the 
movements already recognized. 

/ A general review of the subject may be made under the heading of 
climate, where the various phenomena hitherto studied separately may 
now be grouped geographically, and considered especially with 
regard to their influence on the development of organic life, and on 
the habitation of various regions by man. 



The Conference adopted the following expressions of judgment 
as to the terms of admission to colleges : 

In view of the fact that our high schools, in fulfilment of their obliga- 
tions to the majority of their pupils, must shape their work so as to give 
the best available preparation for the average duties of life without regard 
to college study ; 

And that most high schools cannot maintain several distinct courses 
without weakening all, in greater or less degree, by undue division of 
instruction and equipment; 

And that it is desirable that alt pupils who have finished a high-school 
course of the better order should be able to enter college without serious 
embarrassment from lack of adjustment, even if they shall corne to desire 
to do so only at or near the end of Iheir course in high schools, as is so 
often the case ; 

And in view of the fact, on the other hand, that it is desirable that 
college graduates, as prospective principals, teachers, and patrons of the 
high schools, should be familiar by personal experience with as much of 
the high-school course as practicable, rather than a special phase of it 
only, and so should be in working sympathy with it ; 


And that, for many additional reasons, it is desirable that there shall be 
the closest practicable relations between the colleges and high schools, 

/~ Resolved, that it is the sense of this Conference that the colleges should 
accept as preparatory work, in such due measure as a fair estimate of 
of their value shall permit, all studies which the high schools are 
compelled by their conditions to teach, and that, in arranging their 
requirements for admission, the colleges should make provision for a 
number of alternative subjects or adaptive studies sufficient to permit the 
high schools to subserve their primary functions and at the same time 
prepare their students for college without disadvantageous dispersion of 
effort ; 

Resolved, that physiography, geology, and meteorology should be given, 
in the terms of admission to college, values equal to the full extent of 
the work expended in their pursuit. 

urging the acceptance of physiography, geology, and meteo- 
( rology for admission to college, the Conference do not urge that they 
should be required. ' In examinations for admission to college, the 
N Conference suggest that physiography be given preference over other 
branches of geography, and that political geography be required in. 
connection with histoiy. 

Concerning the class of questions most suitable for testing attain- 
ments, this being a subject submitted to the Conference, we suggest two 
criteria whicli should be met. The questions should be (1) such that 
no student who is not familiar with them can be supposed to have an 
adequate preparation, and (2) such that no student who has an 
adequate preparation can fail to exhibit it by means of them (time 
and other necessary conditions being granted). These criteria, we 
think, will be best met by the selection of broad but fundamental 
topics, rather than by narrow and special questions on which the 
student might fail although well trained 011 the subject in general. 
In attempting to treat the fundamental topics recommended the can- 
didates will show the precise character of their command of the sub- 
ject. If that is loose and superficial it will appear in their papers ; if 
it is thorough and precise, that will appear ; if it is a mere memorized 
knowledge of facts, that will be shown ; if it is a keen analytical per- 
ception of causes, agencies, and processes, that will be indicated. 
When such topics are set, the candidates cannot either succeed or fail 
by the mere hazard of questions. Their opportunities are ample. 
And if the judgment on their papers rests, as it should, on the nature 
of the knowledge and training shown, and not simply on the fact that 
something has been written, a true estimate may be formed. "Catch 
questions" have no place in an examination for college. Among the 


topics that may be employed in such an examination, the following 
are selected as illustrations : Forms of projection used in maps ; 
interpretation of topographic maps (as a part of the required work in 
physiography) ; the natural history of a river or a land area; the 
topography of a familiar district expressed by sketch maps and by an 
outline of the region and history of its topographic features ; the 
significant features of one of the continents and of its drainage sys- 
tems ; the physical features of the United States ; the character of 
ocean basins ; the relation of the true continental border to the water 
line ; the essential facts of the distribution of rainfall, of temperature, 
of atmospheric pressure, and of atmospheric circulation ; the char- 
acter and distribution of glaciers; the distribution of volcanoes, of 
deserts, and the significance of the latter ; cyclones and anticyclones ; 
the distribution of plants and animals. 

It is with the deepest regret that the Conference are called upon to 
report the death of one of their number, Mr. Delwyn A. Hamlin, 
Ma^tjr,pf the Rice Training School of Boston. Mr. Hamlin met 
w Committee at Chicago, and was in full harmony with the 

u ** of this report. His death, May 25th, occurred before 

tl; ( iu * were attached to the revised report. 

PIT sot Edwin J. Houston dissents from some of the recommen- 
dati of this report. 

A.I oi which is respectfully submitted. 

T. C. CHAMBERLIN, University of Chicago, 

Chicago, III. 
GEORGE L. COLLIE, Beloit College, Beloit, 

W. M. DAVIS, Harvard University, Cambridge, 

* DELWYN A. HAMLIN, Master of the Rice, 

Training School, Boston, Mass. 
MARK W. HARRINGTON, The Weather Bureau, 

Washington, D.C. 
CHARLES F. KING, Dearborn School, Boston, 

FRANCIS W. PARKER, Principal of the Cook 

County Normal School, Englewood, III. 
ISRAEL C. RUSSELL, University of Michigan, 

Ann Arbor, Mich. 
* Deceased. 


July, 1893. 


Dear Sir, I sincerely regret my inability to agree with the 
Majority Report of the Conference on Geography (including Geology 
and Meteorology) appointed by your Committee to meet at the Cook 
County Normal School, Chicago, Illinois, on December 28th, 29th 
and 30th ult. I, therefore, respectfully beg leave to submit the 
following Minority Report, containing a brief statement of some 
of the respects in which I differ from the conclusions reached by 
the rest of the Conference as embodied in their Report. 

I have before me two Majority Reports ; the first, consisting of 
some fifteen pages of typewritten matter, fairly embodying the con- 
clusions reached by the majority of the Conference during the confer- 
ence ; the second and later report, consisting of some forty-six 
pages of typewritten matter, containing suggestions afterw '"* ^ade 
by the members individually. In my judgment the no 1i- 

tional matter is so badly interwoven into the body of , , as 

to produce a lack of precision, which renders it diffi it, :!} * T 
respects, to ascertain exactly what conclusions have been i\ 'ied by 
the gentlemen signing it. The recommendations of the two 1& f ?;orts, 
however, are csseutiall}' the same. 

While the Majority Report contains much excellent material, I am, 
nevertheless, reluctantly compelled to differ from many of its funda- 
mental conclusions and suggestions. 

I agree with the statement in the Majority Report that "It ^'d 
not seem advisable to greatty modify the range of subjects us 1 r 
embraced under the term geograplry." Unfortunately, what I most 
strongly object to in the Report, is the fact that it greatly, and I 
think unwarrantably, modifies such range of subjects. 

The Majority Report states " The natural order of geographical 
subjects seems, therefore, to be the following : 

1. " Elementary Geography, a broad treatment of the earth and its 
inhabitants and institutions, to be pursued in the primary, intermediate 
and lower grammar grades." 

2. "Physical Geography, a more special but still broad treatment 
of the physical features of the earth, atmosphere and ocean, and of 
the forms of life and their physical relations, to be pursued in the 
later grammar grades." 

3. "Physiography, a more advanced treatment of our physical 
environment in which the agencies and processes involved, the 
origin, development, and decadence of the forms presented, and 


the significance of the features of the earth's face are the lead- 
ing themes, to be pursued in the later high-school or the carl}* 
college 3'ears." 

4. " Meteorology, a specialized study of atmospheric phenomena, 
to be offered by schools that are prepared to do so property, as an 
elective in the later high-school years." 

5. " Geology, a study of the earth's structure and its past history, 
to be offered by schools prepared to do so properly, as an elective in 
the last year of the high school course." 

The proposed distribution of these subjects in point of time is as 
follows: viz., 1 and 2 are to extend through all the primary, inter- 
mediate and grammar grades ; 3, 4, and 5 are either assigned to the 
later high-school course, or are to be elected during the last high- 
school or early college year. 

KThe break thus introduced in the sequence of geographical studies 
is, in my judgment, exceedingly inadvisable. The advantages of the 
continued study of an}' subject are generally recognized by educators. 
If an intermission of several years in the geographic studies is per- 
mitted, between the grammar grades and the latter part of the high- 
school course, much time will necessarily be lost in again bringing 
the mind of the student to the point it reached when it temporarily 
abandoned these studies. 

p* But, apart from this, the proposition to replace the general subject 
of plrvsical geography in the high school by specialized branches of 
the science, appears to me to be one of the worst features of the 
Majority Report, and its adoption, I believe, would work an irreparable 
injury to the intelligent study of natural science not only in the 
schools, but also in the colleges and universities. 

The peculiar fitness of physical geography for the presentation and 
classification of geographic facts is well known. Under its general- 
izations, the numerous, and, to the child, the often disconnected facts 
of geography fall into orderly groupings, and much that has hitherto 
perplexed and harassed its naturally iuquisite mind, first finite 
intelligent explanation. 

In my long experience as a teacher of natural science, I have 

found the study of physical geography always to attract, and often 

to charm the mind of the student. Moreover, physical geography 

forms the natural introduction to elementary natural science, since it 

treats of the causes and effects of the things that are constantly 

before the child's observation, tlere is taught, or should be taught, 

fthe mutual interdependence of the three dead geographic forms, the 

/ 1 land, the water and the air, and the two living forms, plant and 

animal life. The proposition to change all this for the doubtful and 


untried advantages of a so-called new study is, I think, unwarranted 7 
and means retrogression and not progression. 

A tendency unfortunately exists in educational circles to decry all 
that is old, aud to laud and magnify all that is new. Such is the 
fruit of specialism, not of broad culture. The minds of the geologist 
and meteorologist, in my opinion, are too evident in the recom- 
mendations of the Majority Report. The advantages of the special 
departments of geology and meteorology have, I fear, been so 
magnified as to prevent the intelligent consideration of the remaining 
branches, the study of which is equally necessary for the broad 
culture of the child. 

While I agree with the Majority Report that the work of the 
earlier and intermediate grades should deal " Not only with the face 
of the earth but with elementary considerations in astronomy, 
meteorology, zoology, and botany, etc.," I do not do so entirely 
for the reason assigned; namely, that "Unless this admixture of 
subjects is fairly included under the elementary courses of geography 
man}* scholars will not gain a knowledge of even the outlines of 
these important subjects," but mainly because I regard elementary 
geography as practically identical with elementary natural science, 
which I firmly believe should form as essential a part of primary 
education as either language or number. The child, in my judgment, 
should be taught the elementary facts of natural science along with 
its letters. The study of nature should form a large part of its first 
school work, if, indeed, not the onl}' part. 

That characteristic of childhood which finds expression in intense 
curiosity as to the why of the things it sees around it, and which 
leads it, when intelligent, to pour into the ears of its unwilling adult 
auditors, a deadly fusilade of questions that too frequently discloses 
their ignorance, can, if properly directed, be made in the study of 
elementary geography of considerable importance to early education. 
Children are close observers and possess the faculty of imagination 
to a degree much greater than is generally credited. Let then the 
first lessons of the child be limited to the things it can see and 
handle, and much will be done to ensure success. 

I would recommend that in elementary geographical work, no text- 
books be permitted to be used ; at least, no books such as those in 
general use, and that only those parts of the earth be studied where 
the child lives, and only those things on such parts with which the , 
child is brought into actual contact, either in the house, along the 
streets or roads, on the playground, or in the school room. Such a 
study of geography will naturally prove of great benefit to the child, 
and will form the best method of ensuring interest in its studies, 


because it deals with objects that come within the range of its 

I entirely disagree with the Majority Report in the following 
statement regarding the time now devoted to the study of geography 
and the results of such work ; viz., 

" In general, however, it is the judgment of the Conference that 
too much time is given to the subject in proportion to the results 
secured. It is not their judgment that more time is given to the 
subject than it merits, but that either more should be accomplished 
or less time taken to attain it." 

In the first place I respectfully submit that the statement is no 
truer of geography than of any other study of the lower grades. 
Indeed, I doubt if it is as true of geography as it is of either number 
or language. The excellent work in geography that is now being 
done by a large proportion of the lower grades of schools, gener- 
ally throughout the United States, will, I feel assured, in its 
results, compare favorably with those attained in either number or 

For the general purposes of classification, the studies of the lowest 
schools may be conveniently arranged under the following general 
heads ; viz., physical science, number and language. 

I would introduce physical science in the lowest schools by the 
study of geography, which in its earliest stages should be strictly 
limited to observations of the simplest natural phenomena. As 
already remarked in its earliest stages, geography should be limited 
in place, to a description of that part of the earth where the child 
lives, and in subject matter, to those things which it sees, handles, 
and compares. 

I would earnestly recommend that the child's first lessons in 
language be given through the medium of natural science thus 
introduced by elementary geography. I believe that a great advan- 
tage would be derived in so teaching a child language in connection 
with the studies in physical science. And this without that " Dawd- 
ling and dwelling on trivialities " which I agree with the Conference 
in unqualifiedly condemning. On the other hand, however, I would 
not urge undue pressing of the work, " In order that the time given 
to geography may be shortened." In all early school work it is best 
to make haste slowly. 

But, apart from this, I do not believe that geography, as a branch of 
i/ elementary natural science, can advantageously be crowded into fewer 
terms by devoting to it a greater number of hours per term. What- 
ever may be the advantages derived from such a plan in either number 
or language work, I do not believe that they exist in elementary 


science work. Early scientific ideas to become well grounded should 
be of gradual growth. Like all ideas based on observation, time 
forms an important factor in their acquirement ; time for the observa- 
tions to be made ; time for them to be thoroughly absorbed ; time 
for them to be intelligently observed, and time for the correct 
conclusions to be reached. In mere memorizing studies, hurry may 
possess advantages, but in elementary scientific studies the time 
element is of prime importance. 

It is not, however, in the lower grades only that the Committee 
express their belief that too much time is expended in teaching 
geography. They urge the same as regards the higher grades. It 
is indeed especially in the higher grades, in the study of physical 
geography, that they believe marked changes are necessary ; and 
this, as I understand it, is a result of the experience or belief of 
least a majority of the Conference, that not only the study of geog- 
raphy in general, but of physical geography in particular has failed 
to awaken the interest or arouse the enthusiasm of the pupils. An 
experience of nearly twenty years in teaching physical geography, I 
am happy to say, is directly at variance with this conclusion. On 
the contrary, I have invariably found this study to awaken the 
liveliest interest and not infrequently to arouse marked enthusiasm. 
Nor do I believe that the general experience of teachers in this 
respect would bear out the opinion expressed by the Majority Report. 
Should, however, the facts be as claimed in some localities, for I 
cannot credit such to be generally true, it would seem that this 
deplorable state of affairs is due to that very lack of definiteness and 
want of logical order of sequence, which I regret to believe charac- 
terizes both the matter and the recommendations of much of the 
Majority Report. 

I would suggest the following topics as properly coming under the 
head of general geography ; viz., 

1. Elementary geography, consisting entirely of -the simplest facts 
of physical geography. 

2. Descriptive geography. 

3. Mathematical geography. 

4. Political geography. 

5. Physical geography, including a systematic classification and 
co-ordination of the more or less disconnected facts studied under 
heads 1, 2, 3, and 4, including the new facts that will neces- 
sarily present themselves as a result of such classification and 

I would, as already stated, limit the early study of geography to 
the simplest elementary ideas of physical geography. 


As the child advances in its observations of the earth immediately 
around it, the study of descriptive, mathematical, and political 
geography should begin ; that is to say, after elementary natural 
geography has been sufficiently taught, the other branches of geog- 
raphy are to be studied together. In this respect I quite agree with 
the ideas advanced by the Majority Report. I feel convinced, how- 
ever, that not only should geographical studies continue through all 
grades to the high school, but also that physical geography should be 
taken up during the first year or two of the high-school course, rather 
than during the last }'ear. I believe this because I am convinced that 
-the study of physical geography is necessary to properly generalize 
and systematize the heterogeneous collection of facts embraced under 
ordinary geography, and I believe that this should be done immed- 
iately at the close of such general geographical studies and not only 
along with them. 

In the intermediate grades considerable attention should be given 
to maps and map drawing. In all cases, however, such studies 
should be preceded by ideas of relative size and direction. The 
meaning of parallels and meridians should be thoroughly taught 
before any extended work is attempted on maps. For this purpose 
the use of a spherical blackboard, or a large blackboard or blackened 
sphere so prepared as to be readily used with chalk is recommended. 
Smaller, individual, spherical blackboards can also be advantageously 
employed for individual use by the pupils. 

I heartily agree with the Majority Report as regards the value of 
the repeated use of maps, and of the necesshy for teaching the child 
how to interpret them intelligently. 

^-*-As regards the presentation of physical geography I would suggest 
the following arrangement of topics, based mainly on Giryot's plan, 
as being, in my experience, an order of sequence that has invariably 
given good results. 
(jL) The Inside of the Earth. 

The Heated Interior and its Effects. 

2. The Outside of the Earth. 

a. The Land. 

b. The Water. 

c. The Air. 
c?. Plants. 

e. Animals, including Man. 

In teaching these topics I would suggest the following order : 
| 1. What is it? Definition. 

2. Where is it? Distribution. 

3. Why is it? Cause. 


1. What is it ? Definition. In physical geography, as indeed in 
all studies, definite ideas must be had as to what the thing studied is. 
Clear and concise definitions should be given, the definitions, as far 
as possible, being vitalized either by the thing itself, or by a picture of 
the thing, if the thing itself cannot be readily obtained. 

2. Where is it 1 Distribution. Clear ideas of the distribution of 
the five geographic forms is a matter of prime importance in the 
study of physical geography, in order that the effects of each form 
on the > other can be thoroughly understood. 

It is under this second head that the knowledge of map drawing, 
alreacty taught in the lower grades, can be applied as follows : 

The student should be required to draw an outline map of the earth, 
preferablv_an a Mercator's prftjp,(*.t.irm T and to represent thereon, as they 
are studied, the distribution of the different classes of features or forms- o 

If the work under this second head be intelligently directed, most 
of the facts already acquired in the lower grades can now be grouped 
or arranged in a systematic form, and, when complemented by the 
third step, will be raised to the dignity of a science. 

3. Why is it? Cause. The study of the causes that have pro^~ 
duced the present features of the earth, or are now modifying them, 
constitute an exceedingly important part of physical geography, and 
should be carefully insisted on ; indeed, the effects of these causes 
should be taught throughout the entire course of geography, from the 
primary grades to the end. The extent, however, to which effects 
should be traced to their causes will of necessit} r vary with the work 
of the different grades. It is in this final study of the subject in the 
early high school years that the relations between causes and effects 
should receive their most extended treatment. 

I agree with the Majority Report as regards the importance of the 
study of the causes that have produced and modified or are now 
modifying the physical features of the earth. I would not, however, 
limit the study of these causes in the high-school course to what the 
Report calls physiography, which is practically limited to the land 
areas, but would extend it equally to the ocean and atmosphere and 
to the Mfe of the earth generally ; for, if the study be thus limited to 
the land, and is not equally extended to the effects such changes in 
the land and water areas have on climate and especially upon plant 
and animal life, it loses much of its broad cultural value. 

A study of physical geography based on the scheme I have outlined 
cannot, in my judgment, fail to possess great attractiveness to the 
student, and to prove an important factor in ensuring broad mental 

Whatever differences of opinion may exist as to the proper methods 


of teaching geography in the primary grades, I think there should be 
no doubt as to the method best suited to the high-school grade. 
Here I would invariably begin each topic by a concise and accurate 

t statement of the principles which modern science has discovered con- 
cerning it. If science is not agreed as to such principles, I would 
I give the general consensus of opinion, carefully avoiding controversial 
1 matter, except in the highest grades of the work. 

Having concisely stated the principles, I would show how such 

principles .can be deduced from the observations already the 

student, either from the standpoint of work actually required in the 

lower grades, or, in the absence of this, from the observations it ma}' 

reasonabl3 T be assumed the student has made for himself, outside of 

school work, pointing out how the interpretation of such observations 

necessarily leads to the scientific law already stated, supplying where 

necessary the missing links. In this manner the law as stated may 

be shown to be presumably correct. I think this preferable to an}' 

,,attempt to make the students deduce the law themselves. In other 

f" words, the scheme proposed would not attempt to build up the science 

by observations, but rather to inake the observations confirm the 

(^ already deduced law. 

Moreover, in their recommendation to place additional subjects in 
the requirements for admission to college, the Conference go beyond 
the purpose for which they were appointed; viz., " To consider the 
proper limits .... the best method of instruction, the most desir- 
able allotment of time for the subject, the best method of testing 
pupils' attainments therein .... of each principal subject which 
enters into the programme of secondary schools in the United States 
and in;o the requirements for admission to college." The Conference 
exceed their powers : 

1. In proposing new studies for the secondary schools. 

2. In naming subjects not required for admission to colleges. 

3. In recommending the dropping of a subject now specially men- 
tioned as one of the requirements for admission to many colleges. 

Among the colleges that require physical geography in their 
entrance examinations I would mention the following : namely, 
the Sheffield School of Science, the Boston Polytechnic Institute, 
Princeton University, University of Kansas, Cornell College, Iowa, 
University of Wisconsin, Swarthmore College, University of Penn- 
sylvania, University of Michigan, Cornell University, etc., etc. 

The Majority Report is characterized by a curious and persistent 
insistance as to the peculiar claims of physiography, 'which it styles 
advanced and modernized physical geography. 


I radically disagree with the recommendations of the Majority 
Report in this respect. It is not that I object so much to the use of 
the term physiography, since I agree with the Conference that names 
are of little importance, provided their significance is fully under- 
stood. To my mind, however, the word physiography is vague and 
misleading. Its meaning, as indicated by its etomology, is a drawing 
of nature, and this is the sense in which Huxley employed it to cover 
the subject matter of a certain course of lectures, on natural phenom- 
ena in general, and on the basin of the Thames in particular. Unless 
it is specifically stated as to what the natural drawing is, no precise 
meaning is conveyed by the word. 

The meaning of physiographic as an adjective is more definite ; for 
example, physiographic geology. But even here authorities are at 
variance. Dana limits the scope of physiographic geology u To a 
general survey of the earth's surface features." Clearly, however, 
such a limitation is not intended by the Majority Report, which 
would include dynamical geology. The Majority Report would make 
physiography include not only a survey of the earth's present 
features, but also an account of the agencies or forces that have 
produced or are now producing or modifying such features. But 
this is what Prestwich calls physical geology, by which he means 
Physical and Stratigraphical Geology as distinguished from Paleanto- 
logical Geology ; the one deals with inorganic and the other with 
organic matter. 

Geike defines physiographic geology as " That branch of geological 
inquiry which deals of the evolution of the existing contours of 
dry land," and this it would appear comes nearest to the meaning 
given to physiography by the Majority Report. 

But it is primarily the study of geography and not geology that the 
Conference is 'considering, arid, if a new term is needed, it would seem 
that physiographic geography would be indicated. The existence of 
the well-known term physical geography, in my opinion, renders the 
coining of the new word inadvisable. 

The uncertainty surrounding the name physiography is recognized 
by the Century Dictionary, as is shown by the following definition ; 
viz., "A word of rather variable meaning, but, as most generally 
used, nearly or quite the equivalent of physical geography." 

Let us now look into the Majority Report as regards its recom- 
mendations for the high-school course. 

Concisely these recommendations are that physical geography be 
dropped out of the high-school course, and be taken up in connection 
with elementary geography as now taught in the secondary and 
elementary grades. 



It is proposed to replace physical geography by: 

1 . Physiography 

2. Meteorology, 
and, provisionally, 

3. Geology. 

In order to criticize intelligently this selection of topics proposed 
for the high-school course, a brief review of the topics included under 
the head of physical geography may be of value. Physical geography 
treats in general of the distribution, etc., of the land, water, air, 
plants and animals. 

Tabulating the many branches of science which come under this 
very general heading, we have the following; viz., 


1. Land 

2. Water 

3. Air 

4. Plants 

a. The interior of earth 

b. The crust of earth 

1. Volcanology. 

2. Seismology. 

1. Formation & changes Physiography. 

2. Land masses. 

f Orography. 
1 3. Relief forms -I 



I Topography. 



C Oceanography or 


^ Thalassography ^ 





Winds & storms 


- Meteorology. 





Botany or 





f Zoological g( igraphy 

(^ Ethnographj 

In place of the varied topics thus embraced under the term 
physical geography, portions from nearly all of which have already 
been necessarily introduced into the studies of the lower grades, 
we have the exceedingly limited range of topics embraced mainly 
under a subdivision of the land ; viz., that relating to the formation 
and changes of the crust, or physiography. 

It is true that the study of the water, as far as relates to the actions 
of rivers, lakes, glaciers, etc., is included among the causes of these 
changes, but their study is only incidental. 

I have not included geology in the above tabular review, since, 
generally speaking, geology may be regarded as practically treating 
of the same topics as phj'sical geography, with, however, this dis- 
tinction ; i. e. that geology is properly limited to a study of the earth 
as it was, and physical geography to the earth as it is. 


That I am correct in my estimate of the limited scope of physiog- 
raphy, as the Majority Report understands it, will, I think, appear 
from the following extracts from the report itself ; 

On page 5, " But this would be made relatively subordinate to the 
main theme, namely, the geography of the lands." 

Again on page 7, "As there must be a selection of topics, the Con- 
ference recommend that the nature of the processes involved in the 
formation and modification of the earth's surface, essentially so indi- 
cated under the head of physiography, be regarded as having the 
most vital importance, both to the general student and to the 
prospective teacher." 

Or on page 8, " Physiography, a more advanced treatment of our 
physical environment, in which the agencies and processes involved, 
the origin, development, and decadence of the forms presented, and 
significance of the features of the earth's face, are the leading 

Or again on page 27, " We shall here confine ourselves to the 
physiography of the land." 

And again on page 30, " For the sake of brevity, we shall consider 
only that part of the subject, that is concerned with the development 
of the land forms." 

As far as I have been able to understand the so-called advanced 
and modernized physical geography, it is fairly crystallized in the 
following phrase, taken from page 30, of the Report: 

"Its progress from first beginning in constructional uplifting, or 
accumulation, towards its end in a completed lowland of denudation." 

I believe no further comment is necessary in this connection unless 
it be to review the very curious reason assigned for the introduction 
of pltysiography into the high-school course (see page 7) : 

" Unless eijther physiography or geology is retained in the high 
school and given vitality and efficiency, a serious danger threatens 
the whole geographic line of study in the lower schools, for the great 
mass of teachers of geography have not taken courses beyond the 
high schools, and in the imme'diate future are not likely to go further 
in their education, and if they are not taught the elementary processes 
and principles of these sciences then they will have little real strength 
as teachers of geography." The Conference have curiously con- 
founded the functions of the high school with that of the normal 
school. Comment is unnecessary. 

As regards the advisability of introducing meteorology into the 
high-school course in place of physical geograptn r , the same general 
objections can be urged as in the case of physiography; viz., the 
replacing of a special for a general study. 


It would in my judgment be bad enough if it were proposed to 
substitute the general subject of the atmosphere and its phenomena 
for the more extended subject of physical geography ; but to propose 
a substitution of the highly specialized subject the Committee desire 
to make of meteorology, namely, the weather and its attendant 
phenomena, is, I feel sure, a great error, and one calculated to work 
much harm to that part of the school system on which the college 
and university depends so largely for its students. 

I will not attempt here to point out the fact that the distribution of 
the topics proposed under meteorology is somewhat illogical as regards 
order of sequence and, therefore, not calculated to insure the best 
results ; for, this is unnecessary, being secondary in consideration to 
the objection urged against the subject itself. 

I agree with the recommendation of the Majority Report " That it 
is the sense of this Conference that colleges should accept as pre- 
paratory work, in such due measure as a fair estimate of their value 
shall permit, all studies which the high schools are compelled by their 
conditions to teach, and that, by arranging their requirements for 
admission, the colleges should make provision for a number of alter- 
native subjects or adaptive studies sufficient to permit the high schools 
to subserve their primary functions, and at the same time prepare 
their students for college without disadvantageous dispersion of 

I do not, however, agree with them " That physiography, geology, 
and meteorology should be given in the terms of admission to college 
values equal to the full extent of the work expended in their 
pursuit;" for this, in my judgment, would be giving separate credits 
for, in many respects, two closely allied subjects ; namely, physiog- 
raphy and geology. 

. Nor can I see any valid reason why so comparatively special a 
subject as that of physiography should be given any preference over 
any other special branches of geography. 

I desire in this connection to call the attention of the Committee 
of Ten to the fact that for some reason which I am unable to com- 
prehend, the Majority Report fails to make any provision whatever 
for the studies of botany and zoology, or generally for the subject of 
biology. Why the particular branches of physical geography recom- 
mended have been selected to the exclusion of the remaining branches 
is difficult to say. 

/* In conclusion, I desire to take direct issue with the statement 
1 repeatedly made during the Conference, and contained by inference 
\ in the Majority Report, that all existing works on physical geography 
^ are practically useless because insufficiently modernized and advanced. 


The magnificent works of Humboldt, the valuable comparative *") 
geography of Ritter, and the classic writings of Guyot, treat of 
physical geography or geophysics ?n its truest, broadest sense, and 
need far better argument and more convincing reasons than those 
advanced by the Majority Report, in order to be successfully relegated 
to obscurity. 

It may be interesting here to note how exceedingly new is the 
modernized and advanced physical geography referred to in the 
Report, that the Conference express their conviction that, in all 
probability, it cannot be taught except by the happy few who have 
mastered ii, and that the Conference, therefore, gravely recommend 
that until Physiography be put in accessible form the study of 
geology, pure and simple, be substituted for it. That they should 
be willing to recommend the displacement of a well tried branch for 
the sake of a branch they acknowledge cannot yet be generally taught, 
can hardly be regarded as partaking of that broad, liberal spirit in 
modern educational matters so necessary for true advance. 




KCIUKIN iu ine circuianon aesk or any 
University of California Library 

or to the 

Bldg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 


2-month loans may be renewed by calling 

1-year loans may be recharged by bringing 
books to NRLF 

Renewals and recharges may be made 4 
days prior to due date. 


JUH 1 5 2001 

SEP 2 9 2001 

JAN 3 2005 

AUG ?nnR 






(a 4$